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Bloody Elbow Daily Recap December 22: Nick Diaz vs. Evangelista Santos, Year End Recaps and More

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This is a new feature that will recap the big posts of the day and allow me a space to do a little good old fashioned editorializing where I see fit. We'll also do a little roundup up important links from the other combat sites in the SB Nation family. It'll run most nights and should serve as a good chance for those of you who found yourself tied up during the day to quickly catch up on what you missed. It should also serve as a good chance for you to get annoyed with my opinions.

- There were over three hundred comments on articles talking about news of the January 29 Strikeforce main event between Nick Diaz and Evangelista Santos. There's two main schools of thought on this fight. One side says that it's a horrible fight between a valuable asset in Diaz and a journeyman with one fight in Santos. The other side is where I fall, and Jonathan Snowden managed to put it into words better than I can right now in his piece:

At welterweight, this was the only match that made sense for the promotion. Paul Daley wasn't ready to fight Diaz on such short notice after his big knockout win over Scott Smith in December. Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffiedine aren't yet high profile enough names to be featured players in a  big-time Showtime main event. Cyborg is the promotion's best available fighter at 170 - who better to challenge for the title? Not only has he earned a shot with a big win over former contender Zaromskis, some close to the bout believe he's actually a more well rounded fighter than Daley. He's better on the ground and may be harder for Diaz to submit if they do hit the mat.

Strikeforce is not deep at welterweight, that's just a fact. If Daley/Diaz wasn't a possibility right now and Diaz/Miller wasn't going to happen, this is the best welterweight fight that they can offer with the possible exception of giving Diaz a fight against Tyron Woodley but that would be ruining the development of a prospect.

Beyond the excitement factor we're looking at a situation where there is a long-term path for the division in play. Assuming Diaz wins, he and Daley will be on close to the same rest schedule which should allow for them to fight sometime in the summer. After that you can look at the winner against a KJ Noons or see where Saffiedine or Woodley are in their development, or maybe there's a new signing or someone moves up or down in weight. It's all a lot more appealing than having Diaz sit around and wait for Daley.

- Leland Roling continued his look at some of the top prospects in the game with a look at Assan Njie and another feature on Victor O'Donnell.

- Jonathan Snowden talked about his personal choice for fight of the year, Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen. While it isn't my personal choice (that goes to Kazuo Misaki vs. Jorge Santiago 2) it certainly was an amazing fight and one filled with the kind of drama that is rare to see in UFC main events. Hell, the level of drama and the amazing finish made is rare to see in any sport.

SB Nation Link Round-up

- DREAM's Dynamite!! fight card is...weird. Head Kick Legend has some details on that.

- WEC 53 managed a 0.62 rating, not great but it doesn't really matter long term other than for the exposure of the fighters who will soon be in the UFC. It wasn't a great event, but it was a great main event, and that made for a good send off for a great promotion.

- Over at Watch Kalib Run, S.C. Michaelson is doing some year end awards. He did his submission of the year and while I think he was foolish to consider Lesnar/Carwin while tossing aside Fedor/Werdum, at least he got the winner correct

- Kid Nate talked about the rumors of Royce Gracie returning to the UFC for the promotion's planned trip to Brazil. This is a brutally bad idea and I like BE community member p0wn's idea much better:

have gracie in a grappling match against a good ufc grappler. That way, since this is the first Brasilian UFC in forever, you can get some good hype for the bout, and have a lot of fan interaction… AND… there’s one less uncompetitive mma rules bout. There’s no way Gracie will be competitive in an mma match, imo.