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Quick thoughts on Strikeforce (Noons/Diaz II) event

By Zach Arnold | October 9, 2010

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I thought the fighters fought hard and put on a great show. I commend them tonight. I’m very proud of Marloes Coenen, who has not taken the easy path to get to where she has been. She’s been around for a long time and is a pioneer in my book. Very happy for her success.

The sad part is that not many people watched the show. Dave Meltzer said the estimate going into the show was 8,000 and by the time the show was close to over, Josh Gross and Jordan Breen estimated the crowd in the 6,500-7,500 range. There’s a few reasons for it:

I am very surprised that Nick Diaz won the fight and focused on boxing. I thought Noons would beat him to the punch and in the end, Diaz did better on his feet. Very surprised, and pleasantly so.

Bad judging reared its ugly head once again (for the Thomson/Calvan fight) and you can sense the growing exasperation amongst everyone at this point.

Tyron Woodley is not close to being ready to fight Nick Diaz, even though I suspect that fight is coming shortly.

Topics: Media, MMA, StrikeForce, Zach Arnold | 30 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

30 Responses to “Quick thoughts on Strikeforce (Noons/Diaz II) event”

  1. David M says:

    Punch stats had Noons landing more than 100 more punches than Nick, which I did not expect. It was a really good fight, though Noons showed horrid foot movement and no ability to kick or to do really anything except stand in front of Nick and slip punches and throw hooks.

    Diaz is an atrocious wrestler; I used to think he would be a good match for GSP, but he would have no shot in hell of beating Georges. When Diaz had Noons down, he couldn’t do anything at all with him. GSP would take him down at will.

    The Thompson fight was entertaining; I don’t think it is wrong to score that fight 29-28 either way, but the 30-27 was a joke. It is also worth noting that JZ may have grabbed the fence to stop a Thompson takedown before he himself took Josh down in the third.

    Overall I thought JZ seemed the better fighter.

    • edub says:

      Diaz did well again, but it proved IMO that he would lose to the top 7 or 8 in the UFC.I know I always say this, but I really wish he would fight predominantly at 185. I also thought JZ won his fight, but he should have done something else besides hold Thomson against the ground and fence for the last 2 minutes of the 3rd round. He did the same sort of thing in the Kikuno fight. It’s weird to think 5-6 years back Thomson looked huge for a lightweight, and now he seems average.

      I was pretty happy when Marloes won. I’d like to see more fighters be aware of opponents tapping, and refs too for that matter.

    • robthom says:

      “…Diaz is an atrocious wrestler; …”

      Nick looked liked sh!t again.
      Which makes me wonder whether its him or noons.

      I thought noons got the first 3, and then Nick pulled away.

      (And Which isn’t all that interesting to watch.)

      I’ll bet noons gets him clean in the rubber match, unfortunately.
      Especially outside of San Jo.

      • robthom says:

        “…Which isn’t all that interesting to watch.”

        But dont get me wrong, thats only my judgmental fan expecting to much.

        In reality I thought it was a pretty spiffy card overall.

  2. Chuck says:

    Great event. I thought JZ won, but 29-28 either fighter was the perfect score. But no way was that a 30-27 fight for Thompson (or JZ for that matter of fact).

    Noons hits hard, but his boxing definitely looked like that of a prelim fighter on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights. And Diaz’s wrestling is pretty damn terrible. Coenen looked awesome, and Woodley looked good, but he isn’t ready for the upper echelon of fighters.

    • Mossrocket says:

      I found it interesting that Strikeforce called Noons the most successful cross-over fighter…
      Especially considering who their heavyweight champion is…

      Noons’ boxing looks pretty average, though better than a lot of ‘pure’ MMA guys.
      Noons’ wrestling, ground game and kicking are all sub par for a top class MMA fighter…

      Compare that to Overeem – sublime K1 skills (which are definitely different to the skil set needed for MMA), and some pretty devastating MMA skills as well…

      – gotta love the “Gracie Ju Jitsu” from Nick at the end – was that a promise for future fights??

  3. Nepal says:

    Diaz vs. Noons was a very entertaining fight but really only proved that neither are top welterweights.

    Noons only has hand strikes, Diaz also has Jitz but can you imagine Diaz against GSP, Kos, Fitch or Matt Hughes? No way he could stop a take down and no way those guys would be subbed. I would bet on Hathaway vs Diaz too.

    Noons could do well at 155 but I don’t think would beat Dunham, Sherk, Maynard and even that pipsqueek Edgar would probably beat him.

  4. Mark says:

    Noons is too 1D to survive any UFC division. Diaz’s problem, as I said in the other thread, is that he needs a huge retooling of his gameplans with strong focus on wrestling and he is either he’s too egotistical to realize or too lazy to do anything about it. Even if he did, he’s still too small to survive UFC’s 170 top tier. He’d be outpowered by GSP, Kos, Fitch, Alves, Hughes, ect. Although a fight with Serra would be awesome.

    I definitely called Kaufman-Coenen correctly. People were sleeping on Coenen’s ability and putting way too much into her fight with Cyborg, which would be like Machida being forced to fight Brock Lesnar size-wise. The truth was, an undefeated record means nothing if you’ve been up against mainly unimpressive opponents until recently. Coenen’s record definitely wasn’t as impressive, but she has been fighting the best in women’s MMA forever. Kaufman can definitely come back, but she’s going to need to up her game against someone like Coenen who is very well rounded and has been in some total wars against the best in the world.

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    1) The Giants game was over at 5:45pm local time. The prelims had already started by that point. And the main card started at 7pm. Most fans would have watched the Giants game and then relaxed afterwards… Not rushed over to another sporting event.

    2) I really think Strikeforce is going to have a hard time without having even 1 “go to” market. Without Cung Le or Frank Shamrock, San Jose completely dried up for them. The same thing happens in most sports markets when the teams start losing and the stars go away. It can take years to regain a market often times.

    3) Woodley probably isn’t next in line. The winner of Daley/Smith is. The fact that Woodley is their #3 guy, shows how weak their Welterweight Division is.

    4) Both Melendez and Thomson have said they aren’t looking forward to another 5 round fight between them. The reason is because the fights have been so tough on their bodies (another reason to rethink more 5 round fights). I wonder if in any way they will make it harder for Coker to put on that title fight. While I thought their 2nd fight was amazing, I don’t think Strikeforce is capable of selling this fight as a main event and getting a respectable crowd out of it.

    • edub says:

      I think this fight as main event would be perfect with a good card around it on CBS. It’s pretty much a guaranteed FOTY candidate.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        And it would get horrible ratings and guarantee that CBS wouldn’t touch MMA for another year or two.

        Leben/Akiyama 2 would be an exciting fight. Doesn’t mean it belongs as the headliner or a network show.

        • Mark says:

          Yeah it certainly wouldn’t draw, since Melendez bombed the last time he was on CBS and nobody knows who Thomson is since his biggest claim to fame is being called gay by Frank Shamrock. But they could throw on a Herschel Walker fight or cave in and sign Kimbo and run them last.

          But at any rate, usually rematches of a fight of that caliber do not live up to it and just leave everybody disappointed. Not saying it wouldn’t be a good fight, but it can’t be as good as the last one, and all the MMA critics online will shit on it.

    • klown says:

      I’m glad 45 brought up the extra toll on fighters’ health and bodies that a 5-round fight takes. It’s rarely mentioned, if ever, in the debate on having more 5-rounders in MMA.

  6. Coyote says:

    It just was an excellent event. Whats the deal comparing UFC with SF all the time. Botg promotions aré doing their jobs, and thats it.

    Díaz does a standing battle to prove he is better than Noons, and his gas tank is just amazing. And remember his bro is Nate who do very well on UFC.

    For Coenen, just congrats, she deserve that tittle.

    Woodley is who surprise me. Woah. Amazing power. The welter weight división is getting big, just wait for Tarec, Siyar, Bowling. They aré not well know now but with moré time they can shine.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      You mean the same Nate Diaz who went 1-3 in a year time span due to his problems with better wrestlers in MMA?

      The only reason Nick Diaz shines in Strikeforce is because they purposely avoid putting him in there with wrestlers.

      And most of those guys you mention in their Welterweight division would be 0-2 and done in the UFC. Completely different levels of competition. Not even comparable.

      • Coyote says:

        And if Nick was picked by UFC your gonna change of mind. For sure, UFC want Diaz back.

        I hope UFC cut Thiago Alves, or Diego Sanchez soon, and they fight with people outside to see the real level of the welters on ufc.

        The same for Daley, who own’s Hazellet, and Kampmann so easily. I think he loose in front of Diaz.

        And i know you can see the future of Bowling and Tarec now. Lol.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          I don’t care for Nate Diaz, and he is in the UFC. Not to mention a nicer version of his brother. So I can’t see myself caring if Nick goes to the UFC or not.

          Nick Diaz has not beaten anybody in the current Top 20, which makes it funny that people make such a big deal of him.

          As for Paul Daley. The guyu does one thing very very well. Which is punch. But he has been exposed basically 4 times in recent memory. Against Thompson, Shields, & Koscheck with loses. And against a natural Lightweight in Masvidal in a very close (disputed by some) win.

          Nick Diaz is doing well because he doesn’t have to fight wrestlers in Strikeforce. It’s as simple as that. He is fighting Lightweights (Noons) or mediocre Middleweights (Shamrock & Smith).

          History has shown us that the Diaz brothers look very average when they compete in an organization that contains higher level wrestlers. Nick proved it in his days with the UFC. Nate is currently proving it. Nothing has changed to show something is different.

  7. jim says:

    The Chahid/Zambidis fight changed my mind about striking in fights. I would have enjoyed the Diaz/Noons fight much more before that one. It’s unfair, but Diaz and Noons looked sloppy in comparison. Goofy.

    K1 kickboxing and MMA are different sports, granted. You have to hold your stance differently for the ground game. But the Strikeforce announcers went on and on about the “technical striking”, and the focus of Diaz/ Noons for the most part was to keep it on the feet, very few takedowns attempted/stuffed, to keep it entertaining for the fans. Noons even apparently had his hand and jaw broken.

    But I kept thinking that both Diaz or Noons were winging wildly, I kept thinking “I could do that”. I did not think that during the Chahid/Zambidis fight. They felt like professionals in comparison.

    Perhaps the striking in MMA will improve eventually to that level, but I don’t think they are there yet. I don’t think that they come across as “technical strikers” yet.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge MMA fan, but by and large I don’t think MMA fighters are quite as “mixed” in their skillset yet.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      Former World Cruiseweight Champion, David Haye, has said that grappling gasses your arms and it makes it much harder to punch. GSP has said the same thing.

      One guillotine attempt in a fight would turn a world class boxer into looking like a “C-Level striker.”

      Grappling changes EVERYTHING about striking.

      It changes the stance. It changes the muscles in the body because it takes different muscles to grapple then it takes to purely strike. It changes the cardio aspect of it.

      All of those changes mean that high level MMA striking will never look like high level K-1 or boxing. It doesn’t mean these guys aren’t ultra talented. It’s that the striking elitists are completely uneducated on the multitude of effects grappling has on striking in MMA.

      • Chuck says:

        That may be true, but that doesn’t related to KJ Noons last night. There was only a little bit of grappling in the first round, then after that it was ALL striking. Noons looked decent, and not great. I disagree with what Jim said about Noons and Diaz “swinging wildly”….they really weren’t, especially Diaz. Diaz actually did a lot of correct things. He used his height and reach advantage, moved his upper body, and counter punched fairly effectively. But his punching style is very much that of a lesser Alexis Arguello. And Noons looked like a bit above the average club fighter, and this is a man who has a pro boxing record (fun fact, so does Nick Diaz. Diaz is 1-0 as a pro boxer).

        Between the two, KJ Noons’ punching was better, but Diaz’s foot and upper body movement (including head movement) were better. Diaz’ punching was decent, and Noons’ upper body movement was non-existent, and his foot movement was minimal at best. That was the difference, and what led to victory for Diaz. Good fight though. I’m not complaining otherwise. Just a little constructive criticism.

        • Mr. Roadblock says:

          Noons/Diaz is a fun slugfest to watch. Neither guy really has pop to end a fight. They’re both cummulation of damage guys.

          Noons does a decent job going to the body but he isn’t a ‘technical boxer’. He doesn’t throw combos, doesn’t even follow up on his jab much.

          A technical boxer would make it his business to get inside on Diaz and go to work. Diaz’s striking is only effective when you stay outside on him.

  8. David says:

    Coker clearly isn’t as shrewd as Dana White.

  9. Safari_Punch says:

    Who needs wrestling when you have Cesar Gracie BJJ?

  10. manapua says:

    I think Ty Woodley poses some style matchup issues for Diaz. He is a much better athlete than him and is a better wrestler than Diaz ever will be in his lifetime. With the right strategy he could beat Diaz very soon.

  11. What exactly is the evidence that Strikeforce has been hurt in the San Jose market? I see you saying this and there’s no evidence establishing a drop in attendance for their events prior to the Showtime deal and afterwards in California/outside of California. Aside from the big sell out for Shamrock/Gracie, do you have any live gates or ticket sold figures to establish a drop in local interest that proves Strikeforce should be running away from the arena that partially owns the company?

    • The Gaijin says:


      A brief statistical run-down:

      Shamrock vs. Gracie: 18,265 (17,465 paid) attendance
      SF Revenge – Overeem vs. Belfort: 10,374 attendance
      SF – Triple Threat: 8,701 attendance
      Shamrock vs. Baroni: 9,672 attendance (EXC + SF)
      SF – Four Men Enter, One Man Survives: 7,249 attendance
      SF: Shamrock vs. Cung Le: 16,326 attendance (EXC + SF)
      Thomson vs. Melendez: 7,288 attendance
      SF – Destruction: 8,152 attendance
      Shamrock vs. Diaz: 15,221 (14,409 announced) ($750k)
      Carano vs. Cyborg: 13,976 attendance ($736k)
      SF-Evolution: 14,749 attendance ($633k)
      Werdum vs. Fedor: 11,757 attendance ($1.1 mil)
      Diaz vs. Noons II: 7,473 attendance .

      The numbers have always fluctuated and really been dependent upon Shamrock and Le (esp. Shamrock it seems), but this was a pretty solid card with what should have been a pretty decent sell grudge match with a California boy on the marquee and it drew pretty poorly – on par with the 4 man tourney. Though I do not pretend to know the ins and outs of territoriies in Cali to know if Stockton folks would be going to San Jose to support their local boy.

      • I looked up Tank/Buentello – 4,437 in attendance. So, basically, Strikeforce got an effectively equivalent number to what it had with shows like the one night tourney that Cung Le headlined and the first Thomson/Melendez show. Much bigger attendance than the Playboy Mansion shows (obviously) or Tank/Buentello. And yet, somehow that proves that they need to abandon Northern California?

        The actual numbers don’t play out a drop at all. Its actually a terrible leap to make logically based on a false assumption and zero evidence. I don’t see what there is to base this on for Zach or anyone else making the claim.

        • Zach Arnold says:

          I never said to abandon Northern California (you’re putting words into someone’s mouth), but to deny that they are struggling to keep local fans and replace each local fan lost with a fan from out-of-the-area is just being in denial.

          The Showtime deal has altered the make-up of their audience locally and I see it because I’m close enough to the area to watch how they do PR and advertising and what fans are and aren’t showing up. It’s not rocket science.

        • What is the evidence that it has altered the makeup of the audience drastically? How is the Strikeforce audience different today from Tank/Buentello? Or Thomson/Melendez? When they were running the same exact arena and selling essentially the same exact number of tickets 3 years ago and it was genius, what can you point to in saying that the fans have rejected them because they signed to Showtime? What is the actual evidence?


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