Diaz shocked St-Pierre didn't try to keep UFC 137 fight, has choice words for champ | MMAjunkie.com
It was one of the most shocking stories in mixed martial arts history.
Former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz (25-7 MMA, 6-4 UFC), handed the biggest opportunity of his career, no-showed a pair of pre-event press conferences and was pulled from a UFC 137 fight with UFC title-holder Georges St-Pierre (22-2 MMA, 16-2 UFC).
The world struggled to make sense of the situation, and honestly, so has Diaz, himself. The fiery Californian admits he dropped the ball, but he's shocked St-Pierre went along for the ride. And that supposed disdain for the press? Garbage, says Diaz. Media members should feel free to stop by his gym anytime.
"I'm not trying to make all these little excuses," Diaz today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "If I'd have known the fight was going to be off, I would have [expletive] gone to the press conference, or I would have told somebody, 'Hey, if I don't make it to this stupid [expletive], I'm not fighting.' I think that people would have gotten me there. I think people would have come and gave two [expletive] and gotten me to that press conference."
There were reasons that didn't happen, but Diaz wants to make it perfectly clear he's not trying to shift the blame. There was the lost passport that prevented him from making it Canada, and to be honest, Diaz admits he really didn't even realize why he was supposed to be getting on the plane. Had he known his shot at St-Pierre depended on his attendance, there certainly would have been a little more importance placed on compliance. However, Diaz thought it was little more than a video shoot that was more distraction than destination.
"I didn't even know there was a press conference," Diaz said. "I thought it was some PR thing. People were trying to tell me, 'You're going to do this skit,' and that I was going to be a part of some PR skit where I had this part where I was walking through a hall, kind of like that scene Jake Shields did. I was like, 'What the [expletive]? Are you kidding?' So I'm thinking, 'Somebody better come over here and tell me what I'm doing and get me ready to go do it so I don't look like an [expletive].' That's how I feel when you're coming to get me ready for something I'm not ready for.
"I didn't know it was supposed to be a press conference until the same day I was supposed to be making it to the press conference. I just don't like the way people are treating it and acting like I backed out of a fight. Why would I do that?"
At that point, Diaz admits he made an even bigger mistake. Frustrated at the situation, Diaz clammed up and tried his best to work things out on his own rather than relying on his manager and trainer, Cesar Gracie, to help clear up the situation.
"I was trying to make it happen," Diaz insisted. "I wasn't talking to anybody. I wasn't talking to Cesar, and I should have been. I should have had Cesar make my flight and everything, but I was trying to handle it on my own."
Unfortunately for Diaz, UFC president Dana White was forced to make a decision. With tickets going on sale for a blockbuster pay-per-view and one-half of his headlining bout missing in action, White elected to pull Carlos Condit (27-5 MMA, 4-1 UFC) from a co-feature with B.J. Penn (16-7-2 MMA, 12-6-2 UFC) in favor of a matchup with St-Pierre.
As a bit of a concession, Diaz was then re-booked to face Penn.
Both fights still look incredible on paper, and the card was a quick sell-out despite the changes. But Diaz, a purist in his beliefs that MMA should be more about fighting than sport, feels the new matchups are a bit of a disservice to fans.
"Now I'm over here getting ready to fight a guy I know that I was previously friends with," Diaz said. "We're not doing so good right now, but we were friends. Condit and Georges, they know each other. They're friends. And they're trying to make these fights out of people that aren't even trying to fight. They're trying to make these wrestling matches, and I think it's kind of ridiculous. It's not a real fight."
And while Diaz admits he should have been at the press conferences – and certainly would have had he realized the consequences – he also blames St-Pierre for not protesting the switch.
"I really don't appreciate this mother[expletive] sitting there at that press conference and laughing at me," Diaz said. "That's some real bitch [expletive]. He's sitting there laughing like it's funny or something. If I saw Georges on the street and called him a bitch, I bet you he wouldn't do [expletive]. I bet you if I walked up and gave him a slap, I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't do [expletive]. But you can't do that to me. That's not how it works for me. That's something to fight about.
"It makes me mad that Georges is going to sit there and call himself a fighter, but he's not going to stand up and say something about this. He's going to let it ride. I think I would say something. I would at least have said, 'I disagree. I don't agree with canceling my fight because of some dumbass [expletive].' Instead, he sat there and said, 'He doesn't have the commitment to be a champion.' What is that? I obviously have the commitment to throw my life away. I've thrown my life away and sacrificed everything so that I can fight. I did that. I threw my life away so I could work hard and train and fight. That's commitment."