Photo by Scott Petersen via MMA Weekly
Kim controlled the fight with take downs and positional grappling. Diaz came on strong in the third round and worked to finish Kim but his fiercest attack was interrupted due to Diaz landing an illegal knee that stopped the action.
Diaz had Kim in a front headlock in the final round and was landing vicious knees to Kim's head when the judoka reached down and put a hand on the ground to make any further knees illegal. Diaz fired away and ref Yves Lavigne stopped the action. It was the best chance Diaz got in his come from behind bid to finish Kim.
Kim came out and quickly got the take down. From there it was a back-and-forth battle between skilled grapplers as Kim passed guard and got to side control only to lose position as Diaz regained full guard and threatened with submission attempts. Diaz threatened with arm bars, triangles and multiple leg lock attempts but Kim escaped and escaped. Kim landed some hard punches from the top. Kim then took Diaz' back only for Diaz to attack his leg again. Kim escaped to his feet. Diaz landed a jab or two as the round ended. The two were exchanging smack talk and rude jestures -- although it's unclear that Diaz understands Korean any better than Kim understands English.
Kim came out leg kicking and landed a left hand to the head. Diaz answered with some punches that had Kim considering a take down. Diaz quickly fended him off and they went back to trading. Kim dived for a low single leg but Diaz stepped out. Then Kim got a trip take down and put Diaz on his back. Diaz immediately threatened with a constant series of triangle attempts. Kim tried to pass over the top with an acrobatic leap but Diaz caught him back in guard. Kim was cut under the eye in one of the pitty pat exchanges on the ground. Diaz kicked Kim off and stood but Kim immediately took Diaz back down. From there Diaz landed a lot of annoying strikes as Kim fended off his submission attempts. Diaz then took Kim's back and threatened to choke Kim out briefly but Kim escaped. Diaz landed a nice right to end the round.
Kim appeared tired in the corner going into the final round. Diaz opened with a stiff jab. Kim landed a right hand but Diaz answered. Diaz ducked a high kick attempt and landed right hook. He then threw off a Kim shot and took Kim's back. Kim stood up quickly and pushed Diaz off. Kim tried tried to shoot again, Diaz stuffed it completely and kneed Kim from the headlock position. Kim then put his hand on the ground and baited Diaz into kneeing him illegally in the head. Ref Yves Lavinge then stopped the action and warned Diaz as Kim writhed on the ground. But he managed to continue. Kim went for a throw and Diaz almost took his back but Kim did some amazing scrambling and got top position on Diaz. Diaz threatened more submissions including a leg attack but Kim escaped everything. Diaz then got top position on the ground but Kim quickly stood up. Diaz landed a high kick to the face then some knees to the body. Then body shots. Diaz then trapped Kim's arm and landed punches with his free right hand. But Kim survived the round.
Diaz, the popular winner of The Ultimate Fighter season five, has fought at 155lbs for the bulk of his UFC career going 6-3. Since moving up to 170lbs he's 2-0 with dominant wins over Marcus Davis and Rory Markham.
Diaz is known for his slick jiu jitsu and his unconventional boxing style which relies on a large volume of arm punches to overwhelm opponents.
Kim lost a decision to Karo Parisyan at UFC 94 but that fight became a No Contest when Parisyan failed a drug test for painkillers after the bout.