When fighters are given the opportunity to fight for a world championship, 99.9 percent of them would do everything above and beyond to maximize the chance they were given. When you say 99.9%, who would the .1% be? That would be Nick Diaz.
It was announced yesterday by UFC President Dana White that he was pulling Diaz from his shot at UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre in favor of Carlos Condit at UFC 137 on October 29th. Why was Diaz pulled you say? Because he did what Nick Diaz always does. Play by his own rules and this time it cost him dearly.
When you think of Nick Diaz, you think of one of the top welterweights in the world. With great boxing and some of the best Brazilian Ji-Jitsu in the world, as he is a black belt under the guidance of Cesar Gracie. He carries that attitude that a lot of people would like to have at their job. That I don’t have to talk anybody, say whatever I want, miss obligations and have that care free lifestyle type of attitude.
That’s what fans like about Diaz, who has been notorious for skipping pre and post fight press conferences and shoot off at the hip when he did do interviews.
After his last fight in Strikeforce in April against Paul Daley, Diaz was wanting to go into the world of boxing. Diaz was rumored to face former world champion Jeff Lacy if he couldn’t get a fight with St-Pierre and more money as he felt he was underpaid.
Gracie got him the fight he wanted and the money he wanted as he was slotted to face St-Pierre at UFC 137. It was then announced that the UFC was going to do a press tour with two stops: Toronto and Las Vegas. This is where it got interesting.
The Toronto presser took place on Tuesday and Diaz was nowhere to be found and it was reported that he missed his flight and Gracie had told White that Diaz would be at the presser in Vegas.
UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta tweeted yesterday morning wondering if anyone knew where Nick Diaz was. In the back of your mind, you had to think he was just joking around and playing into everything. As the day went on though, everybody was really wondering where he was. There were rumors he had gotten into a plane crash, which turned out to be false.
We get to the press conference yesterday and White goes over the timeline that Diaz missed three flights to Toronto, which reportedly with everything cost them around $15,000. White went onto say that no one had heard from Diaz and even during the presser received a call from Gracie saying he has not heard from him as well. White announced during the presser that he was replacing Diaz with Carlos Condit.
A video then appears last night on You Tube from Diaz. He really didn’t apologize and just kept saying he wants to fight and that he was sorry for missing the “beauty pageant”.
Part of being a high caliber fighter and being in main events is showing up to everything that the promotion wants to do. That means autograph sessions, radio show interviews, conference calls, appearing at press conferences, etc. It helps sell the fight and draws more fans to tune in and watch you fight.
Diaz got away with that in Strikeforce because they needed him more than he needed them. That hurt them in the fact that they could have had more fans in the arena, more people to watch the fight and that leads to more money. Diaz never wanted to do that and thought he could do whatever he wanted to do.
He played by his own rules and that’s what people like about him. He was the modern day James Dean with an attitude.
He would skip conference calls and press conferences. He even skipped a pre-fight drug test before a scheduled title fight with Jay Hieron in 2009 as Diaz has been an advocate of marijuana in the past.
Did the UFC know what they were getting themselves into when they signed Diaz? They did and all White wanted Diaz to do was “play the game a little bit”. What do we make of the whole situation?
He should be ashamed of himself. He is a 28 year old man, who still doesn’t get what it takes to be a man and accept responsibility for his actions. He couldn’t show up for two press conferences that would have taken up two hours of his day for each one. No fighter likes to attend them, but it helps sell the fight which gives you a chance to make more money in the long run.
He got what he deserved and screwed up. He let a people down as Gracie stated in numerous interviews yesterday. Let down his teammates, his coaches, the UFC who put a lot of money into this fight, the fans and more importantly himself.
Diaz did a lot of ranting and raving in the past calling out St.Pierre and wanting to get paid like he thought he deserved. He got the fight he wanted and the money he wanted. He blew that opportunity and who knows if he will get it ever again. Blew a once in a lifetime chance all because he was too stubborn to go to two press conferences.
All the UFC wanted him to do was “play the game a little bit”. For Nick Diaz, it is game over…. For now!