You’d be hard-pressed to find any UFC fighter who enjoys taking part in the media sideshow that goes along with fighting in the main event of a pay-per-view card. The process is made all the more onerous by the fact that the obligations usually come when the fighter is attempting to fully focus all his attention on his upcoming opponent and cut weight for the fight.
Yet most fighters grind through the process, waking up early, interrupting their training, taking time out of their schedules to help sell not only their fight, but also the sport as a whole. Some fighters even manage to trudge through with a smile on their face, even if that grin may be somewhat disingenuous.
And then there is Nick Diaz.
You remember Nick Diaz, don’t you? You know, the fighter that was scheduled to face UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 137. The fighter that couldn’t seem to bring himself to show up for the beauty pageant(s) that were the pre-fight press conferences that the UFC required of him. The fighter that was subsequently removed from that card’s main event due to his penchant for being Nick Diaz.
Despite the fact that he was booted from his first scheduled fight with St-Pierre, the UFC decided to take another chance on Diaz, booking him to face St-Pierre in the main event of the upcoming UFC 158 fight card. If you think he learned his lesson from the last debacle, you don’t know too much about Nick Diaz.
Will we see GSP vs Diaz at UFC 158?
According to UFC president Dana White, Diaz is once again being a very big thorn in his side by missing out on three scheduled interviews for a UFC Primetime special—a fact that left White more than a little unhappy.
“He did not (show up) and that’s a fact. He did not, neither did his brother, Nate and we spent over $50,000 in production costs in guys cruising around Stockton, CA and not interviewing people and it’s not funny," White told the assembled press at the UFC 157 post-fight media scrum. "We’re very cool and very lenient in a lot of ways, we let a lot of things fly, but that’s just absolute bullshit.”
White said that Nick eventually did the interviews. But it obviously left the UFC boss a little leery about what the future holds for Diaz and the media obligations that will come as UFC 158 nears, “It’s part of the job. This is how it works. This is the job. This is what we do. Go to your job and tell your boss you don’t want to do this or do that, it’s not how it works. I showed the Diaz brother a ton of respect, they can show some respect back.”
And if they don’t show that respect back, White admitted that there is a chance of a repeat of the UFC 137 situation where Diaz was removed from the card: “I hope we don’t come to that. Can you tell I’m close? I’m really close and I don’t want to be.”
Never a dull moment in the life of the UFC president.
**All quotes obtained first hand by BR MMA.