Let's be honest with each other. I don't normally watch jiu jitsu tournaments for entertainment. Neither do you. I appreciate the skill and technique, but it's a point game, one that sees guys in bleached white bath robes try desperately to put knees on each other's stomachs.
At last night's World Jiu Jitsu Expo, some of the best jiu jitsu artists in the world competed on pay-per-view. There were no submissions. There were no submissions that came particularly close. There were but a handful of actual attempts in the entire hour-plus show. It is a battle of position. Nothing more, nothing less.
I found it fascinating and would watch again, but I'm a sucker for these things, a guy who has watched more submission wrestling and fighting than is healthy for humans to absorb. This is about you. And you watched last night, if anecdotal evidence is any indicator, in relatively large numbers.
Twitter was abuzz with it. Because of Nick Diaz.
The UFC star was set to main event the show against jiu jitsu star Braulio Estima. Banned from MMA competition for the sin of smoking marijuana, this was to be our Diaz fix.
And so we waited last night. And waited. Waited for UFC star Nick Diaz. And Nick Diaz—in perhaps the most Nick Diaz move in the history of the world—never showed up.
It really shouldn't have been much of a surprise. Diaz is famous for missing engagements. Flights, press conferences, phone calls, Diaz does what Diaz wants. But this was different.
The rallying cry of Diaz supporters, fans who followed the fighter through the ups and the downs of his tumultuous career was simple—Diaz may not like the nonsense associated with the fight game, but he'd never miss a bout.
A press conference? Sure. But never a fight.
Now even that has been taken away. Diaz can and will miss a fight, a wedding, possibly even his own funeral one day. And while it's understandable that Nick Diaz has better things to do on a Saturday night than hang out with the likes of us, I just would have liked to know about it before putting up 10 hard-earned dollars for the privilege of finding out if he was planning on gracing us with his presence.
Ariel Helwani breaks the news:
According to two sources at the WJJE, Nick Diaz hasn't arrived yet. His match is supposed to be in a approximately 60-90 mins.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 13, 2012
Bloody Elbow's Crooklyn reacts for all of us:
@arielhelwani LOL! Jesus....— Stephie D (@CrooklynMMA) May 13, 2012
Tommy gets to the bottom of what was really going on:
Guys you're going to laugh-sources close to the situation say that Nick Diaz was at Target all night torn on which Mother’s Day card to buy— Tommy Messano (@ULTMMA) May 13, 2012
Fellow fighter Jason High's got jokes:
What can you say about Nick Diaz that hasn't already been said about Afghanistan....— Jason High (@KCBanditMMA) May 13, 2012
UFC announcer Jon Anik still a fan:
Still can't take the Nick Diaz fan outta me. Just hope he gets past whatever mental or emotional issue it is that leads to this behavior.— Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) May 13, 2012
Renzo Gracie willing to wait for an explanation: