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Nick Diaz expected to fight for Strikeforce; April debut possible

Former EliteXC lightweight title challenger Nick Diaz appears set to join several of the promotion’s top fighters in transitioning to Strikeforce following the latter’s recent acquisition of select assets from ProElite.

“Nick Diaz will most likely be fighting in late March or early April for Strikeforce,” reads a statement on, a website owned and operated by Diaz’s trainer and manager, Cesar Gracie.

An opponent is not yet known but apparently could be a notable name.

“His opponent has yet to be named and final contracts have not been signed, however StrikeForce is committed to securing a marquee matchup for Diaz,” the statement adds.

Strikeforce and Showtime officially announced late this week plans to hold an event on April 11 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The card will be the first of a 16-event television contract between Strikeforce and Showtime with a middleweight matchup between Scott Smith and Benji Radach already confirmed and Frank Shamrock expected to headline the first show.

Diaz, 18-7, last competed in July during EliteXC’s “Unfinished Business,” which was held in his hometown of Stockton, Calif. Facing Thomas Denny in a bout that was televised on CBS’ Saturday Night Fights, Diaz TKO’d the former King of the Cage veteran just 30 seconds into round 2.

In addition to competing for EliteXC, Diaz also fought for the Japan-based DREAM promotion last year. A return to DREAM had been expected but plans to fight Hayato Sakurai fell through, according to

“His last bout was to have taken place in Dream against Sakurai,” the site began to state, “but Japanese television executives nixed the match and replaced Sakurai’s opponent for a former pro wrestler they hoped would muster better ratings.”

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