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Is Strikeforce Protecting Nick Diaz From Jay Hieron?

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No, I'm not saying that Jay Hieron would just run through Nick Diaz or anything of the sort.  However, when you look at the match up stylistically, Hieron is the type of fighter that Diaz loses decisions against.  In fact, five of his seven losses have come against wrestlers/grapplers that have put Diaz on his back and out-worked him on the ground.  Hieron is definitley capable of putting Diaz in that position and grinding out a decision win.  Some may point to the fact that Diaz is a BJJ blackbelt and very crafty on the ground, and I'd point to the fact that Hieron has never been submitted in MMA competition while doing the majority of his work on the ground.

Scott Coker has said that Mach Sakurai will likely get the next shot at Nick Diaz and his Strikeforce welterweight belt.  The only problem with that is that Sakurai is coming off back to back losses, with one of those losses being against the guy that Diaz knocked out this past weekend.  What type of match making sense does that make?  That's pretty retarded if you ask me.  Not to mention that Jay Hieron signed with Strikeforce, basically to fight Nick Diaz for the welterweight title.  The same Nick Diaz that missed a drug test prior to the initial scheduled matchup between himself and Hieron back in August.  The same fighter that Showtime executives were pissed at about missing that drug test and conducting himself professionally? 

So what sense does it make to not give Hieron this title shot when it's already been scheduled one time and fell through to no fault of Hieron?  It's not like he's lost any fights in the meantime.  A fight with Sakurai doesn't do Diaz any bit of good in the eyes of fans that know the sport.  It's common knowledge that Sakurai's best days are behind him and it's a fight that Diaz should win handedly.  As I said earlier, the Riggs fight was Hieron's last fight on his Strikeforce contract.  So giving him a shot right off the bat would be ideal for both parties.  Strikeforce could structure the new contract so that Hieron would make whatever sum of money should he become champion.  If he lost they could structure it so that he would make this amount of money.  

It'll be interesting to see how negotiations go between the two parties.  However, it would be a bad look for Sakurai to get the title shot instead of Hieron.  Hieron's at least earned that much in his time with Strikeforce.