n 2006, Frank Shamrock dropped Nick Diaz’s mentor and trainer, Cesar Gracie, in a Strikeforce mixed martial art event that set a record for fight attendance at HP Pavilion.
Three years later, Diaz exacted some serious revenge in the same building Saturday night, knocking Shamrock out at 3:57 in the second round of a match scheduled for three rounds.
As the headliner of Strikeforce’s first event of 2009, the pair let their fists do the talking and let the crowd of 15,211 rain down the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ in approval. Although Shamrock has been known as a showman in the sport for over a decade, it was Diaz who played up to the crowd during the entertaining showdown.
Diaz (19-7-1) took control from the start of the opening round. He blocked Shamrock’s punches with an open hand and used his reach-advantage to jump forward with quick right-handed counters that kept Shamrock (23-10-2) off balance.
“I knew I had reach (advantage) on him, and I was trying to get him to put that right hand out there to death, and then jump in and counter,” Diaz said. “I was telling him, ‘Are you holding something for me? If you’re gonna throw it, throw it.'”
With Shamrock having to respect those punches, Diaz caught Shamrock with a takedown just one minute into the fight. Shamrock was able to slip away after being held on his back for a minute, but Diaz had established the fight’s tempo.
Diaz provoked Shamrock at the beginning of the second round
leaning in without using his hands for protection multiple times, which incited the crowd. When Shamrock reacted, Diaz unleashed his quick right hand.
Diaz ended the fight with a flurry of punches. He started with a hard right hand to Shamrock’s left rib cage, which dropped him to the mat. With Shamrock down and defenseless, Diaz unleashed a relentless attack of rights and lefts until the referee was forced to call the bout a knockout.
Diaz showed good sportsmanship in the end, helping Shamrock up after knocking him out.
“I said, ‘Get up, you’re a legend,'” Diaz said.
Shamrock got back to his feet, and told his San Jose fans that he’ll be back to fight another day. “I’m going to keep coming back here to train; this is my hometown,” Shamrock said. “I’m 36 and I’m gonna take down one of these youngsters.”