The eight fighters who will compete this Saturday, Jan. 29, live on Showtime and Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker participated Thursday in a final press conference for the eagerly awaited event at HP Pavilion.
Saturday’s event will be highlighted by a Strikeforce World Championship Doubleheader. Strikeforce World Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz (23-7, 1 NC) will seek his ninth consecutive victory when he makes his second title defense against Brazilian powerhouse Evangelista Cyborg (18-13) in the main event. “I feel good and I’m ready to fight. Cyborg has a unique style and I know that he will give it his all and be as crazy as ever. But that’s good because I’m crazy, too.” Diaz said about his opponent. “I think he was fighting guys too big when he was fighting at middleweight, but I might be too big for him too. Anything can happen in a fight, but I prepare for everything.’’ Cyborg gave his thoughts as well, “I am not worried about those who underestimate me in this fight. I am pre-occupied with winning. The belt always equals a build-up to your career, but first you have to win it. I feel strong and very comfortable at 170 and looking forward to a great fight against Nick Diaz.”
“This is going to be a tough fight, and a very dangerous one. Robbie Lawler is very heavy-handed and I know to win I am going to have to play my game, which is to take him down and try and finish the fight.” said Strikeforce World Middleweight Champion “Jacare” Souza (13-2, 1 NC) who will put his belt on the line for the first time against hard-hitting, former two-time world champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (18-6, 1 NC) in the co-feature of a stacked card. “Some were surprised that I stood last time but Lawler is a different kind of fighter than I had in my last one. If I have to stand, I will, of course, but I know it is important that I keep control.” Lawler was stoic as ever, saying, “I’m not looking ahead to anybody. I’m only looking ahead to Saturday’s fight.”
Herschel Walker will return to the cage for his second fight to face Scott Carson (4-1) in a heavyweight bout and undefeated Roger Gracie (3-0), the latest prospect from MMA’s first family, will battle former South African national wrestling champion Trevor Prangley (23-6-1) at light heavyweight (205 pounds). Walker stated, “The Herschel of today would have beaten up the Herschel of a year ago. I was dumb and naÃ¯ve when I first started. But I have learned a lot.” Carson added, “Fighting such a legendary name has certainly added a lot of hype to the fight, but I have worked very hard in training camp. I’m looking to see this fight go into the later rounds where it will be a war of attrition.’’
The first non-televised, undercard fight on Saturday begins at 7:30 PM EST. The live telecast begins at 10 PM EST, and you can watch the action only on Showtime… or your favorite streaming website.