Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz and Paul Daley, the man who will challenge him for the title on April 9th, joined a conference call yesterday. Diaz' teammate Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez and his next opponent Tatsuya Kawajiri were also on the call. Check out the full transcript at USA TODAY:
"(I'm not) overly impressed with (Paul Daley's) MMA skills, as far as a well-rounded fighter. (But) it's a good match-up. A lot of the time, you don't get to see strikers fight each other."
"(On Jon Jones and Rashad Evans) They're not real training partners. They're like 10 years apart ...They didn't grow up training together. And then the guy is just brand new into this sport. They've got him so busy making photo shoots and press conference and conference calls and all that. I'm missing practice right now (by doing) this! I'm missing a very serious practice."
"(About Cesar Gracie) It's more than training partners. We're a family. It's just not right. And if you're offering me $10 million to fight my boy, then I'm sure somebody's going to offer me $8 million to fight somebody else."
"I like (the old strikeforce rules of banning elbows on the ground) because it just reminds me of the way the Pride rules used to be. The elbows just kind of help (a wrestler) so that they're not going to stand the fight up, he just throws those short elbows. And then it's cutting me up, and I'm not getting paid as much as boxers are. I'm just looking (out for) everybody's best interest."
"(About UFC buying Strikeforce) The sport's going to be a monopoly. In 10 years' time, people are going to be calling MMA the UFC. I think that's bad. But it's a big opportunity to become Strikeforce champion ...so I decided that I'd take the fight in the end."
"I'm sure Cesar Gracie, knows for a fact that I have monkey-like arms. My reach is actually the same as Nick Diaz. Nick's taller than me, but his reach is the same as mine."
"It's not secret that I'm not a jiu-jitsu wizard, and I hate wrestlers that are just going to lay-and-pray, so my offense is to knock people out, and I've been very successful doing it."
"As far as my bargaining power when I become Strikeforce champion, I'll just leave that up to my manager. But I saw Nick Diaz's purse in his last fight, and I would be asking for that kind of money. I know he's probably not driving a Honda no more, so let's just say that."
"When people look back the history of MMA and the history of British MMA fighters, they'll remember me as being the first guy that won a major U.S. title. I'll always be there in history."
"(About the Josh Koscheck incident) I regret it and apologize to the fans that actually really do give a (crap) about me, my loyal fans that follow me; I'm sorry for embarrassing you."
"My weight's fine, but I'm not going to lie. Coming from a five-round fight against a Japanese fighter, Yuya Shirai, and then trying to bounce straight back into another fight camp for such a big fight wasn't ideal. I would have liked to have a longer period of time to prepare specifically for Nick, but saying that, it has its positives and its negatives. My fitness is where it should be for a five-round fight."
Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley coverage