Remember back in September when Nick Diaz failed to show up for media obligations for his UFC 137 main event against Georges St-Pierre?
We're all familiar with the story by now, but let's do a quick recap: As punishment, Diaz was pulled from the bout and replaced with Carlos Condit. Diaz instead faced B.J. Penn, and that fight was moved to the main event after St-Pierre suffered an injury and Condit decided that he wanted to wait for his title shot.
Diaz lost a ton of money by not showing up for those media obligations. His contract gave him a percentage of the pay-per-view revenue, and he lost that cut after being pulled from the St-Pierre fight. All told, Diaz likely lost significantly more than $1 million, simply because he couldn't do what every other fighter in the business considers part of his or her job.
That's all ancient history at this point, though. But today, ESPN's Brett Okamoto tweeted some interesting new information regarding the fine Diaz received as part of his failed marijuana test at UFC 143.
Most likely, Nick will be fined 30 percent of $200k and $65k *bonus* ... the order for that should come down within next two weeks.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) May 30, 2012
The $65k bonus was not a fight night bonus. It was part of a $300k bonus Diaz received from the UFC for not missing 143 press conferences.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) May 30, 2012
The $300k bonus was supposedly made out for more than just attending press conferences, but that was the main crux acc. to Kizer.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) May 30, 2012
What are we looking at here?
From what Okamoto is reporting—and as best as I can tell without personally talking to Kizer—Diaz was essentially paid a $300,000 bonus on top of his fight purse just for showing up to press conferences at UFC 143. As Okamoto says, the bonus may have been paid for more than just press conferences, but Kizer told Okamoto that he's under the impression that the majority of the bonus was based on Diaz meeting media obligations.
This is an amazing deal, at least to me. Diaz was paid a large amount of money simply for doing the things that are supposed to be a requirement for fighters under UFC contract. And he was paid that money because he no-showed the press conferences in September.
Perhaps I'm in the wrong, but this doesn't feel like much of a punishment. Sure, Diaz would have earned more than $300,000 from his pay-per-view cut, so he's still out a lot of money from October. But he was paid this bonus because he didn't show up in the first place. Does that seem weird to anyone else?
I can't lie: Diaz has a pretty good thing going on. He refuses to play by the rules that every other fighter in the UFC abides by, and in the end he's rewarded for it with a huge bonus.
That's a good gig, if you can get it. And it only adds to the mystery and legend that is Nick Diaz.