Strikeforce CEO Believes Diaz vs. Mayhem Has to Happen

January 28, 2011

It all started in Nashville, Tenn., on April 17, 2010.

A brawl broke out between members of then Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields’ team and Jason “Mayhem” Miller, who had popped in the ring after Shields’ win to goad him into a rematch from a bout the pair had in last 2009.

What resulted was an eruption inside the cage and one of the people involved was current Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz. Since the fiasco in Nashville, Diaz and Miller have been involved in war of words on the Internet and never miss a chance to take jabs at one another.

Diaz boiled over last week during a media conference call when he believed people were somehow insinuating that he didn’t want to go up and face Miller at 185 pounds because he was intimidated. The result was Diaz going on a tirade about pay grades and challenging Miller to drop back down to welterweight if he was so anxious for the fight.

One person who has influence over the situation is Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, who admits he sat on the sidelines as other executives at his promotion tried to put the fight together between Diaz and Miller the last time, but now he’s ready to step in and get involved.

“Sometimes I’ll call Cesar (Gracie), but on that occasion I didn’t call Cesar and I let my guys handle it, and it was really close. I thought it was going to happen, but at the last minute it fell apart. I know weight was definitely one of the issues,” Coker said. “The weight they say ‘oh it’s only two pounds, three pounds, but you know what? When you’re two or three percent body fat, five percent body fat, there’s just not a lot to lose and we just couldn’t bridge the gap.

“In the future, I’d still like to put that fight together because I think they have some unfinished business with that match-up.”

Currently, Diaz is facing Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos for Strikeforce on Saturday night in San Jose, Calif., while Miller is expected to face Tim Kennedy at a Strikeforce event in Ohio on March 5.

Coker hopes that when the dust settles on those two match-ups that something can be worked out at some point down the road to finally settle the score between Diaz and Miller.

“That’d be my vote. To me whether it’s at a higher weight or a lower weight, those guys need to get it on,” Coker stated. “We all know what happened in Nashville, all the drama there, and he was after one of the boys of Nick and whatever happened, happened, and we’re all through with it, but I think the bad blood between those two guys is still there.”

Coker even joked that they could call the event “Strikeforce 209: Don’t Be Scared Homie” after Diaz’s signature catch phrase that Miller has also taken to when challenging the Stockton, Calif. native.

Whether the fight happens or not remains to be seen, but if it’s up to Strikeforce, fans will see Diaz and Miller finally face off in 2011.