Nick Diaz: ‘Cyborg’ Santos Better Than Other Potential Strikeforce Challengers

By Ben Fowlkes

SAN JOSE – Unlike recent Strikeforce conference calls, there was no rancor and not even the hint of a rant when the fighters gathered for a subdued press conference to promote Saturday night’s Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg event at the HP Pavilion.

Welterweight champ Nick Diaz expressed admiration and respect for the challenger, Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, as well as for Santos’ wife, women’s 145-pound Strikeforce champ Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, who was also in attendance.

“I think he’s a great fighter,” Diaz said of the male “Cyborg.” “He’s better than the other guys they had in line.”

In fact, Diaz suggested that perhaps Santos, who is known for his aggressive fighting style, would be a bigger star in the world of MMA right now if only he’d moved down to the 170-pound division sooner, rather than waiting until the 13th year of his career to make his welterweight debut in a TKO victory over Marius Zaromskis last June.

“I think maybe he should have been fighting at 170 pounds a long time ago. He would have beat some name fighters and we would have seen some more of him,” said Diaz. “…He was in there fighting with heavier guys who were throwing him down. They were a little bit too big for him. The way I see it, I’m too big for him, and then these guys were really too big for him and they threw him down. Otherwise, he’d be just as popular as anybody out here.”

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