What we learned at Strikeforce
Diaz walked into Saturday's event intent on proving so, and was vindicated after a 25-minute affair that featured more than 1,000 strikes between the two.
Judges at cage-side saw the result unanimously for the defending champion -- 48-47 and 49-46 twice -- who threw Noons off-kilter by switching between orthodox and his natural southpaw stance.
"I knew he trained for southpaws," said Diaz (23-7) after his eighth consecutive victory following the loss to Noons in 2007. "I was hit when I was standing southpaw. He's the wrong guy to stand southpaw against. He's a good boxer."
Noons, who was forced to brush his long bangs out of his eyes during the five round fight -- "I trained with the hair," he said. "It was a factor but I'll just cut it for the next fight. Stupid. -- indicated that x-rays revealed a broken jaw and a fractured left hand, which came in the first and second rounds respectively.
"I knew I hit him pretty hard," Diaz said. "I didn't know I broke his jaw. I felt something in there."
The challenger, who moved up 15 pounds after campaigning at 155 in three previous bouts this year, still unfurled 592 punches as the pair remained in boxing range throughout the vast majority of the contest. But, unlike the first bout, which ended when a doctor decided Diaz should not continue because of deep cuts over both eyes, Noons (9-2) couldn't find the magic shot. He said he was just off, missing by fractions when he fired off power shots. Diaz started strong despite walking to the cage cold after mistiming his warmup in the back as the undercard unfolded in front of 7,473 fans inside the HP Pavilion.
"I don't want to say I'm completely happy with my performance," Diaz said. "I know what I shouldn't have done now. I'm happy with the way it went. I can't complain. I won the fight."
Thomson's camp prior to the bout said the fighter was awful in the gym. Three weeks ago, he said he considered pulling out of the bout because of a bum ankle, a partially torn MCL in one knee and ever-present hand issues. Thomson (18-3) said he's also battling "athlete's asthma" and used an inhaler leading up to the fight.
"I'm just breaking down," Thomson said. "This sport's killing me. I need to become a commentator."
"I thought it would become a brawl," Coenen said. "The strategy was to get into it. It didn't happen. I don't know why. Maybe she didn't want to exchange punches much. At the start of the third, my trainer told me to give her a straight punch and go for a takedown. I do what he tells me."
Coenen (18-4) is slated to fight
Woodley (7-0) is one of the first fighters to graduate out of the Strikeforce entry-level cards on Showtime with the potential to hold a championship belt.
"I think within the next 12 months you'll see him in some sizable fights at 170 pounds," said Coker.
That pace is just fine for Woodley, who said he was encouraged by what he saw in the main event between Diaz and Noons.
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