by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
It took several years and three different weight classes, but the hard work that Nick Diaz put in finally paid off as the brash Cesar Gracie student knocked out Dream champion, Marius Zaromskis, to claim the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title.

It looked like the slugfest that most expected out of Robbie Lawler and Melvin Manhoef, but it was Diaz and Zaromskis who came out throwing heavy duty shots as soon as the bell rang.

Like clockwork, Diaz used his unreal ability to throw punch after punch after punch, while landing with amazing accuracy, as Zaromskis did his best to get out of the way. A few exchanges saw Zaromskis land some good punches as well, but Diaz kept moving forward.

The strategy almost backfired as Diaz left his hands down just long enough to let Zaromskis sneak in a good shot that rattled the California based fighter. The current Dream champion rushed in looking for more damage, but Diaz recovered well and was back on his feet firing away once again.

After tagging Zaromskis with a combination of punches, Diaz saw his opponent back peddling and that was all it took for him to look for the finish. As the Lithuanian backed up, Diaz powered forward with uppercuts and bodyshots, before one final short right clipped Zaromskis and sent him tumbling to the mat.

The fight was immediately stopped and Nick Diaz now takes home the Strikeforce welterweight title.

“I’m just ready to go home and eat,” Diaz said when asked how special the win was for him.

To his credit, Marius Zaromskis definitely came out to battle, and hurt Diaz with a few strikes, but in the end the former UFC and Elite XC fighter left with the title.

“I knew he was probably going to run and jump at me, so I prepared for that, I prepared for everything,” Diaz stated when talking about Zaromskis’ strategy.

Now the 170lb champion, Diaz likely awaits a future match-up against top contender, Jay Hieron who came out victorious over Joe Riggs earlier in the night. With the welterweight title headed back to Cesar Gracie’s fight camp, the team owns three of Strikeforce’s major championships as Gilbert Melendez holds the lightweight belt and Jake Shields reigns as the middleweight champion as well.