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Ryan "The Lion" Diaz to Face Manny Tapia for KOTC World Flyweight Title in March
Both Ryan Diaz and King of the Cage World Flyweight Champion Manny Tapia confirmed to FCF this week that the two are slated to do battle early in 2007. It appears that after several previous attempts by KOTC to put together a fight between Tapia and KOTC Canada’s Bantamweight Champion Diaz over the last year, it appears that the fight will now finally materialize in the spring. Although no final details have yet to be announced from the promotion as to when and where the bout will take place, both fighters have begun preparations for a March title fight. Tapia is considered by many to be one of KOTC’s rising commodities, holding an undefeated record of 8-0-1. The Millenia Jiu-Jitsu fighter recently defended his 135 pound title for a second time at KOTC "Destroyer" on December 1st, by defeating Richard Montano by unanimous decision.
"In my eyes Ryan is going to be the toughest test," Tapia tells FCF. "I just hear so many good things about him, even guys like Johnny Alessio was just telling me that I’m going to have to train hard for Ryan. I saw him fight Nam Phan and I know he had to go up in weight because he was supposed to fight Urijah (Faber) at 145. That tells you what kind of man he is, that’s why they call him "The Lion", because he’s not going to back down."
Diaz is coming off a tough loss to Nam Phan (12-3), losing by a close decision to the Strikeforce veteran at KOTC "Rapid Fire" on August 4th. Diaz had been scheduled to fight 145 pound standout Urijah Faber, but wound up moving up to the lightweight division to face Phan when Faber was unable to fight. Diaz’s only other losses in 11 fights since 2003 have come against UFC veteran Mark Hominick, losing to the former TKO 145 pound Champion at TKO 22 on September 30th of last year, and at TKO 13 on September 6th of 2003. In between those two bouts, Diaz won 6 fights in a row, including victories over Kola Koka and Ryan Ackerman. Diaz defeated Thierry Quenneville by triangle choke at KOTC Canada’s "Conquest" event on December 3rd last year, to lay claim to the promotion’s Canadian bantamweight belt.
Diaz holds a record of 12-10, and has been in the ring with the likes of Hermes Franca, Mamoru Yamuguchi, and Eddie Yagin in addition to such notable opponents as Hominick and Phan. Despite the recent hype that has accompanied his upcoming opponent Tapia, Diaz is extremely confident in his chances to de-throne the world champion.
"He’s a tough fighter," says Diaz who also fought on the "Rapid Fire" card like Tapia earlier this month. "He doesn’t have the experience that I have though, he’s undefeated but he hasn’t fought the guys I have, the level of fighters that I have. I believe I have the advantage standing and on the ground with him, but no matter what happens, everyone who has seen me fight before knows; it’s going to be a really exciting fight."
National Fighting Challenge Announces Two Fights for Upcoming January 26th Card
National Fighting Challenge promoter, Rob Harris, informed FCF this week about two fights that have been finalized for the promotions upcoming card, to be held at the Squamish Nation’s Recreation Centre, January 26th, in Vancouver, British Columbia. In the event’s main event, Adam Laporte, who has a combined pro-am record of 6-1, will take on Len Tam for the organization’s 145 pound title. Tam will come into the fight with an undefeated record of 2-0.
The card’s other "semi-main event" will feature 2 local favorites as Myles Merola will fight Cesar Narita. In Merola’s last outing, the Surrey fighter dropped a close decision to Marcus Soares’ fighter Garrett Davis. Merola has a combined record of 6-3. His opponent, Cesar Narita is a jiu-jitsu specialist, running his own BJJ School in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. Narita has a professional record of 5-1, and won his last fight in dramatic fashion at Elite Fighting 2 on September 29th. Narita needed only 39 seconds to submit Sean Fewer by armbar to earn the first round victory.
The January 26th event will mark the 7th installment of the National Fighting Challenge MMA event.
Canadian MMA Spring Schedule