Almost 12 hours later, we're not much closer to solving the latest Nick Diaz mystery.
Last night, Diaz was expected to headline the 2012 World Jiu-Jitsu Expo in a no-gi superfight against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion and multi-medalist Braulio Estima.
Not only was the bout highly hyped in non-grappling circles, but the event also had a feel-good story as Diaz was expected to donate his fight purse to charity. Although mobile users found ways to stream the event for free, many others paid a $9.95 fee to watch the event online.
But at the end, Diaz never showed up.
It was a surreal moment, as Estima waited on the mat while the commentary team wondered aloud where Diaz was. Eventually, it was announced to the crowd that Diaz wasn't in the building, and the fans audibly booed. Estima vowed to track Diaz down in an MMA ring, but refused to fight a late replacement.
While there's been no solid excuse or explanation given by anyone involved, Cesar Gracie recently went to Twitter, as did brother Nick's brother Nate, who had the following to say via his Twitter feed:
Braulio didn't show up on weight the day of weigh ins knowing he had pull? Wtf
In the lead-up to the event, Estima announced that he made the 180-pound weight limit for the match. However, statements from the Diaz brothers and Gracie seem to indicate that this was a clear sign of rule-bending, as Estima was allowed to make weight late due to his "pull" with the group. Weigh-in rules for grappling tournaments are different than MMA fights, but apparently, Estima was only required by the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo to make weight on competition day.
So far, the most common threads of information have suggested that Nick no-showed the fight for two reasons:
1. Braulio Estima was allowed to make weight outside of the agreed rules without penalty.
2. GracieMag, Mobile Black Belt and the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo (the promoters of the event) allegedly failed to donate Diaz's purse to St. Jude's Children's Hospital by a pre-determined deadline.
At the very least, we now know that Nick didn't bail out due to injury or something some worrisome. But in a way, it's territory that's all too familiar.
So, who's really at fault?
Accusations of the failed charity donation were made in an early morning statement on the Diaz Brothers' official Facebook page, which is attached to DiazBrothers.com, a site that also cross-links to Nick's official website and Nate's official website:
Promoter fails to donate the money to charity as agreed. (shady) Promoter changes rules for weigh ins to accommodate fellow Brazilian
Match ain't happening
Right now, each side of the conflict (Cesar Gracie and the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo promoters) is playing the blame game, with neither wanting to look like the guilty party.
Either way, the biggest loser in this whole circus is Nick Diaz. Regardless of fault, his name was the biggest one attached to the superfight, and the resulting fallout from the non-event mostly pins the blame on him for not showing up to the match at the agreed time.
And that's much more damning than any explanation the fans will get now.
[McKinley Noble is an MMA conspiracy theorist and former writer for GamePro, PC World and Macworld. Follow his Twitter account for crazy talk, 1990s movie references, and general weirdness. Or, you could just stalk him on Google.]