It didn't take Paul Daley long to bury any concerns that a bout against DEEP champion Yuya Shirai may jeopardize his chances at fighting Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz. Daley landed a brutal left uppercut, left hook combination that knocked Shirai unconscious at the 1:46 mark of the first round on Saturday night at BAMMA 5 in Manchester, England. The victory likely solidifies Daley as the #1 contender to Nick Diaz, a fight that Daley has already been trying to hype up with his mouth.
While Strikeforce has much less depth than the UFC in their own welterweight division, it's difficult to discount the interest that will be produced from a title showdown between Diaz and Daley. Daley has won his last two fights in brutal fashion, punching out Shirai tonight and blasting Scott Smith in a knockout of the year performance back in December. He previously defeated Jorge Masvidal and Daniel Acacio, pushing his current winning streak to four and adding substantial hype around his name as one of the most dangerous welterweights in the world.
Diaz has proven to be quite a handful in recent victories as his precision striking and proven grappling acumen have overcame any and all comers. The intrigue in a match-up with Daley stems from Diaz' stubbornness, at times, to stand with opponents who have success early. KJ Noons is the perfect example, but nobody that Diaz has faced to this date has shown the kind of heart-stopping power that Daley has in his last two fights.
Paul "Semtex" Daley (27-9-2)
Win Yuya Shirai - KO (Punches) BAMMA 5
Win Scott Smith - KO (Punch) Strikeforce
Win Jorge Masvidal - Decision (Unanimous) SF 13
Win Daniel Acacio - Submission (Elbow) Impact FC 2
Nick Diaz (24-7)
Win Evangelista Santos - Submission (Armbar) Strikeforce
Win K.J. Noons - Decision (Unanimous) Strikeforce
Win Hayato Sakurai - Submission (Armbar) Dream 14
Win Marius Zaromskis - TKO (Punches) Strikeforce