PRetty good fight. I didn't think it was as great as Mauro Renallo made it out to be( He said it was as great as Melendez/ Thomson...W/E) . I thought JZ Calvancante v. Josh Thomson was a little more exciting.

Noons boxed in by Diaz in rematch

By Dave Meltzer, Yahoo! Sports
28 minutes ago


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SAN JOSE, Calif. – Nick Diaz and K.J. Noons combined to throw more than 1,000 punches in a mixed martial arts title fight that turned into a boxing match. But it was Diaz who outpointed Noons, who doubles as a pro boxer, at his own game as he retained the Strikeforce welterweight title in Saturday night’s main event at the HP Pavilion.

Diaz seemed to land more effectively, leaving Noons with a broken jaw, in garnering revenge for a loss three years ago in an Elite XC lightweight title match.

While Diaz had talked of being over the loss, he taunted Noons frequently through the five-round fight, in winning a decision by scores of 48-47, 49-46 and 49-46. The Yahoo! Sports card was also 49-46 in favor of Diaz.

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Nick Diaz mugs for the cageside photographers after retaining his Strikeforce welterweight title Saturday night.
(Tracy Lee photo)
“My hand is broken, I think I broke it in the second round,” said Noons (9-2). “My jaw was broken in the first round. He’s a solider He beat me from the judges’ point of view. I felt like it was good fight. I like to put on good shows. I’ve got to go back and look at the fight and evaluate. I always feel like I won. I fought all five rounds. He had a great game plan.”

“I knew I hit him pretty hard,” said Diaz (23-7, 1 no contest). “But no, I didn’t know I broke his jaw.”

The punch stats actually favored Noons, who landed 310 of his 611 punches thrown to 194 of 443 for Diaz in a grueling battle. But Diaz seemed to control most of the fight, landing the cleaner shots while Noons struggled at points with Diaz’s reach and punch volume.

Noons looked strong in the second round, landing solid shots, including one that cut Diaz, which brought back memories of their first match, which Noons won when the doctor stopped the fight due to blood.

But Diaz started controlling the fight again in the third round. He seemed to dictate the pace and frequently had Noons off-balance in the last three rounds.

The only knockdown came in the first round, with Diaz landing a short right counter that put Noons down. Diaz, who figured to have a major edge on the ground, was never in a position for a submission before Noons made it back to his feet.

“In the first round, you could tell he trained on getting up and getting out,” said Diaz. “I know how that is. I train with Jake Shields. The whole thing is a gamble. When all is said and done, no disrespect, I feel my skill level is a lot higher standing up and on the ground. In my mind it went back-and- forth. Should I try to finish with punches or on the ground? That indecisiveness is a problem which makes this guy a tough match-up for me. I feel I’d beat him in a jiu-jitsu match or a boxing match. The indecisiveness really screwed with me. I knew I had to commit to one or the other.”

The match was a crowd pleaser, as both men came off as warriors, never tiring or shying away from the action for five straight rounds, with Noons still throwing everything he had late, and being visibly upset in the ring when the decision went the other way.

“I don’t want to say I’m completely happy with my performance,” said Diaz, who has won eight straight fights since his loss to Noons. “I know what I shouldn’t have done. I’m happy. I can’t complain. I won the fight.”

Diaz may have established himself as one of the top fighters in the world not in UFC, but wasn’t able to prove himself as a singular box office draw. The show drew 7,473 fans to the HP Pavilion, about a 90-minute drive from Diaz’s home city of Stockton. But it was one of the smallest crowds Strikeforce has drawn in its four-year run in its home building, and less than half of the crowd Diaz drew when he beat local star Frank Shamrock last year.

While a strong show overall, the crowd lacked the big-event atmosphere that was there in its heyday, when Shamrock and Cung Le headlined and made the city considered the No. 2 market for live MMA in North America behind only Las Vegas.

Marloes Coenen (18-4) of The Netherlands, a pioneer of women’s MMA, captured Strikeforce’s women’s welterweight (135 pounds) title by finishing Sarah Kaufman (12-1) with an armbar at 1:59 of the third round.

Coenen was coming off a loss in challenging Cris “Cyborg” Santos for the middleweight (145 pounds( title in her last outing. The 29-year-old, who became a superstar in the sport in Japan as a teenager, was almost in tears when it was over, thanking promoter Scott Coker for the opportunity to return to the sport at a high level.

“Thank you Scott for believing in me,” said Coenen, who became the first world champion in the women’s sport in winning an eight-woman open weight tournament in Japan a decade ago. “After losing my first title match to ‘Cyborg’ he believed in me and gave me a second shot. I can’t believe it.”

Coker after the fight said Coenen would make her first title defense against Miesha Tate, who won a four-woman tournament to earn a title shot on August 13 in Houston. He said the fight would take place early in 2011.

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