With news that Nick Diaz is vacating his Strikeforce welterweight championship belt for his fight with UFC champion Georges St. Pierre, Strikeforce is now in the beginning stages of the division post-Diaz.
The first of those moves was announced today via MMAFighting, as Paul Daley will be taking on Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos in Hoffman Estates, Illinois on July 30 at “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson.”
Daley is coming off a loss to Diaz in April at “Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley.” In one of the most exciting fights of the year, Daley even dropped Diaz early in the first round, but was unable to capitalize. Diaz turned the fight around, and was able to defeat Daley by TKO late in the first round. This was the end of a four fight win streak for Daley, three of which came in other corporations.
Santos, meanwhile, lost to Diaz via second round stoppage in January at “Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg.” While he did last longer than Daley, he never had Diaz in much trouble, and eventually lost to Diaz via armbar. This was Santos’ second career fight at 170 pounds.
Daley and Santos will be competing along with top contenders like Tyron Woodley and Scott Smith for the Strikeforce welterweight belt.