Everyone has been waiting for the showdown between Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz and Jason “Mayhem” Miller. The two have had a very public feud since an in-ring melee involving Miller, Diaz and his brother, and the Diaz’s teammate Jake Shields.
Everyone is going to have to keep waiting.
The plan was to have Diaz and Miller fight on Strikeforce’s Jan. 29 event in San Jose, Calif., but the two sides could not agree on terms, mostly centered on weight. Diaz is a welterweight and Miller is a middleweight.
Strikeforce on Wednesday confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that Diaz will instead defend his title against Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, the husband of Strikeforce women’s middleweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Santos. The promotion also confirmed a reported title fight between middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Robbie Lawler.
The two bouts will serve as co-main events on Showtime.
Diaz (23-7) is making the second defense of his title. He defeated Marius Zaromskis in Jan. 2010 to win the belt and recently defended it in a rematch with K.J. Noons. Those victories are part of Diaz’s eight-fight winning streak that dates back to mid-year 2008.
Santos (18-13), a powerful striker from Rondonopolis, Brazil, has won back-to-back bouts, including a TKO victory over Zaromskis. He is an uneven fighter, however, going 5-5 in his last 10 bouts. Santos faces the biggest opportunity of his career in the title fight with Diaz.
Souza (13-2) won the then-vacant Strikeforce middleweight title in a battle with Tim Kennedy on Aug. 21 at Strikeforce: Houston. That victory was the latest in a three-fight winning streak for the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Judo black belt. He defeated Joey Villasenor and Matt Lindland to earn his chance at Strikeforce gold.
Lawler (18-6) is coming off of a brutal first-round knockout of Matt Lindland on Dec. 4 at Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu. He has alternated wins and losses in his last five fights, also defeating the likes of Melvin Manhoef and Scott Smith, while losing to Renato “Babalu” Sobral and former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields.
In other featured televised fights on Showtime, Herschel Walker (1-0) returns to the cage to face Scott Carson (4-1) in a heavyweight bout, and Roger Gracie (3-0) will battle Trevor Prangley (23-6-1) at light heavyweight.
Tickets go on sale Monday, Dec.27, at 10 a.m. PT.