UFC media conference calls are a regular event for every major show the promotion puts on, so sometimes the questions and answers can be a little mundane. Occasionally, however, a certain personality appears from a fighter and changes the dynamic of the entire call.
That's exactly what happened when Nick Diaz unleashed a verbal tirade aimed at UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre on Thursday.
Things started out somewhat calm in the opening moments of the question-and-answer period, but when the commercial for UFC 158 was brought up—where UFC president Dana White conveys to reporters that Georges St-Pierre has called Diaz "the most disrespectful human being I've ever met and I'm going to put the worst beating on him you've ever seen in the UFC"—things took a dramatic turn.
Right away, Diaz took offense to St-Pierre's comment that he was somehow disrespectful, believing that the Canadian champion should appreciate the hard work he put in to get where he's at in this sport.
"I'd say he's out of line a little bit," Diaz said about St-Pierre's comments about being disrespectful. "I think that we're both martial artists and I'd like to be considered for who I am. I come from a background of important MMA fighters and martial artists, it's not just a joke. People like to talk about my skill level and my wins and this and that, but I had to make due, I had to work before I got started. I think Georges can appreciate that and respect that."
Heading into the fight, Diaz doesn't buy that he's getting the recognition he deserves for being one of the top welterweights in the sport—not to mention that he's about to fight for the UFC title against St-Pierre.
"I don’t get a lot of recognition for what I've set out to do here. You look at a lot of these guys that are really important that have red carpet events, awards and magazines, like I'm coming in here to whoop this guy's ass and then before you know it this fight happens and nobody knows who I am. I mean I guess everybody does, but as far as like your mainstream magazines and your Nike, Adidas, all your good stuff, I'm left out of that," said Diaz.
"I just think that I should be given the credit that I deserve and that Georges St-Pierre should be given this sort of decorated opponent that he deserves. I'm hardly that from the fan's perspective or from the people's perspective and that makes me pretty angry. He'll tell you right now that he believes I'm the right guy to be in this position and I think that's for a very important reasoning. I think that should be brought to the table and I think a lot of the time that's where my attitude comes from.
"I think it's disrespectful that people try to act like I'm not important. You know who I am, everybody knows who I am, Georges knows who I am, and I know that if I were in his position, I would especially know who I am."
The attention then shifted to another part of the UFC 158 commercial, where St-Pierre talks about the dark things that go on in his head that no one knows about. Typically, St-Pierre is seen as a very squeaky-clean character both in and out of the cage, but he says deep down there's a darker side rarely seen.
In reaction to that comment, the Twitter world exploded with a new hashtag titled #GSPsDarkPlace poking fun at the champion. When asked if he had seen the comments, St-Pierre responded by saying, "I never tweet once in my life, I have people doing it for me and posting stuff for me. I'm not into the social media at all unfortunately."
(Side note: St-Pierre currently has just over 626,000 Twitter followers.)
That comment sparked an even more livid reaction from Diaz, who says St-Pierre should just be himself, but lately with his current financial and social status, he's letting other people run his life.
"I don't know why he's acting up, I think he should just be himself and do his thing. He wants to come up all on this dark side on this one, I don't understand it, I really don't. I know where the f—k I come from. I don't have to dredge up some bulls—t to get everybody excited. But whatever, you've got to do what you've got to do," Diaz stated.
"You've got Georges, they've got someone over there powdering his nose, and they go send him off to a video shoot. Now he's got someone that's going to make a Twitter for him, now he don't even know how to talk or how to act right. He's got people living his life for him in the open in the public.
"I would just like to keep it real and be me but it's really hard to do. You walk around everywhere and everybody knows who I am, and it's embarrassing too when you're not looking the way you want to look or coming off the way you want to come off. But everybody on every street corner knows who you are, they can see you a mile away and they point a finger, you can't get away from that."
Diaz went on to comment on his own personal life and how things are far from perfect, but he's doing everything on his own, and it makes it that much harder on him.
"My life's a mess, I'm not afraid to admit it," said Diaz. "I work hard regardless through this s—t. I don't have people telling me off and handing me water bottles left and right and getting my training ready for me and getting my s—t ready. I've got to do all that s—t on my own. Everyday I know it that I'm out here doing it on my own and that's why I know I have to go that much harder and concentrate even more because I don't have people sending tweets out for me, I don't have people taking care of my money or financials, obligations, all of that what have you. All that stuff that's important that people talk about, I'm pretty f—ked there because I'm too busy fight all your fights, I'm too busy entertaining the fans. I don't see anybody else bringing s—t to the table.
"This martial arts works for them too when it comes to everybody wants to be like GSP, everybody wants to be strong, and they want to have the fitness and they want to overcome that technical aspect by just being stronger and more explosive, quicker, and beating you to the punch when it comes to scoring in the five minutes, and it's just not really what martial arts is about.
"I've lost a s—tload of fights, but guess what? I'm here. I'm here to fight because people know what they want to see. They want to see real skill level, they want to see real boxing, they want to see real traditional jiu-jitsu, they want to see it together and mixed up. They want to see mixed martial arts. They don't want to see five minutes of holding. I think that people should be point-deducted for it, or running away, or holding on. You should have to punch down or make action."
The anger inside of Diaz started to erupt even more when a reporter followed up by asking St-Pierre for a reaction that he was somehow "pampered" in his everyday life. Before St-Pierre could even say a word, Diaz exploded with his own commentary about his opponent's lifestyle choices.
"I hope so motherf—ker if I had that much money I'd be f—king pampering myself the f—k up. I'd be having motherf—kers pampering my s—t left and f—king right. There would be motherf—kers every hour on the hour showing up to pamper me out," Diaz shouted.
St-Pierre eventually did get a few words in to explain that he may have money now, but that wasn't how it always was and he worked awfully hard to make the millions that Diaz seems to envy.
"Let me tell you something uneducated fool, listen to me. You look pretty smart right now," St-Pierre stated.
"I haven't always been like this, I've not always been rich. I start from the bottom, I make myself, I work very hard to be where I am right now. I know you don't believe this because you didn't succeed yet, and maybe you'll never succeed in your life because I don't think you're smart enough to understand how you should do to reach that point. When you talk about stuff people are doing for me, when you reach a point for your business you need a team to work for you to make the economy to keep the money rolling."
Diaz fired back at St-Pierre by talking about the rough areas he grew up around in Stockton and Lodi, Calif. and how the Canadian athlete has no idea what it's been like for him growing up.
"If I wore some tight shorts out there and got a f—king haircut and I had someone buttering me up halfway telling me this bulls—t, maybe it would have worked out. You don't even know where I come from, trying to talk about where you come from. You shoot this s--t over here, nobody wants to come out here. Nobody gives a s—t," said Diaz. "I'm not jealous. You did the right s—t what you had to do."
The commentary continued, as Diaz pointed out that he had nothing against St-Pierre living a "pampered" lifestyle, but then asked him why when the original question was asked, he didn't respond.
(Technically, Diaz jumped in to respond before St-Pierre could answer earlier in the call.)
"I don't have anything to say to you, I don't mean to be disrespectful. I don't have anything against you, I don't have anything when it comes to what you're doing and I think you've done a great job to be honest with you. I think you do a wonderful job, for who you are, and what you do, and what you have to work with and whatever it is. Sure you're pampered out, I don't have anything against that," said Diaz. "All I'm saying is look I hope so motherf—ker cause this is some f—ked up s—t. If I had the money and I had the right people on my side working for me, if I had some motherf—kers dropping dime on this guy and that guy to make sure I had my s—t ready for me I would be doing it, and you bet your ass it would get done.
"Try that s—t from when you're 21 to when you're all the way till when you're some f—king 32 which you are now, it's a b—ch. You're the one rapping about how you're not pampered or you are pampered. Answer the f—king question then! That's all this is about."
The tirade continued, but St-Pierre did manage to drop in to say, "I don't understand half of the words that you are saying. I speak English better than you. Talk to me like a human being".
The focus then shifted back to the UFC 158 commercial, where White says that St-Pierre wants to give Diaz the worst beating the UFC has ever seen. While the intention of the comment may have simply been a way to promote the fight, Diaz took it as the real sign of irreverence, because nobody should wish harm on another fighter that way.
"I deserve to get beat down? That's what you said right? Honestly straight up, I don't believe you deserve to get beat down. I don't think that. I don't want anybody to get beat down. I'd like to win the fight. You're over here you know me, you know me real well, you know I deserve to get beat down," said Diaz.
"I seriously believe that you told that to the cameras, so you believe that I deserve to be beat down. For whatever I've done in my life, I deserve it for running my mouth to get this position, to become something of what you are and now I deserve to get beat down? You're making those statements to the whole world that I am this piece of s—t that deserves to be beat down. Then you let Dana talk like I'm the most disrespectful person that you've ever met and I deserve to take an ass-whooping and you're going to beat the s—t out of me? And you let him say that?"
According to Diaz, St-Pierre's comments in the video via Dana White have reached the residents of his home area in California, and he can't even drive down the street now without somebody speaking their mind about the upcoming fight in Montreal.
"Check it out motherf—ker, I pull up to a stoplight the other day and some f—king 40-year-old lady, some soccer mom sticks her head out the window and says 'I hope GSP beats your ass!' We're in f—king Lodi b—ch. I'm like are you serious? We are in Lodi right now. That's f—king wonderful, I'm living in a small town full of people that hate me over here. I'm trying to f—king work my way up into a fight and now I'm the most disrespectful person that walks the earth, that I deserve to have the s—t beat out of me, and I'm just this disgusting person," Diaz said.
"Because you know what? When you say something everybody f—king believes it. Everybody wants to know what Georges thinks and what Georges says and want to look how Georges looks and wear tight shorts like Georges and get strong. Forget about jiu-jitsu, forget about boxing, let's do a Superman punch like Georges. F—k mixed martial arts, f—k the martial arts aspect and the jiu-jitsu. Where the f—k do you come from? Who the f—k gave you your black belt? I think that guy deserves more credit. If you want to disrespect, that's it right there. I'm just trying to make my way to the top, trying to make my spot, trying to promote my fight, that's all I got, that's all I get, that's all I do."
Leading up to the fight, Diaz doesn't enjoy how he's being portrayed incorrectly and unfairly in many ways, and St-Pierre is just perpetuating the commentary by saying things, like how he will serve the Stockton native a beatdown in the cage.
"I'm this crazy motherf—ker, but you know where I'm coming from bro. You're not stupid. You understand every f—king word I'm saying right now. You're trying to talk s—t, why don't you just drop it? Why don't you just say we're going to go out, we're going to have a fight, I'm not a disrespectful human being, I don't deserve to be beat down," Diaz commented.
"You think you're going to f—king win for whatever f—king reason, and that's that. Don't get me wrong, you have a good reason to think that, you're No. 1, you're the best right? That's fine, that should be enough right there. I'm disrespectful, I'm the most f—king piece of s—t out there. I'm sure you could find worse than me. That's not the reason we're fighting. That may be the reason the fans built this fight or what sparked up, but I'm the right guy."
St-Pierre went on to say that he believes Diaz is the right opponent and deserves to be in this fight, almost like the two fighters were in the middle of a therapy session. Unfortunately, Dr. Phil wasn't in on Thursday, and Diaz wasn't close to being done.
"I like to think I'm just talking in my defense," said Diaz. "You never know how things are going to come off on video. I have already come off a certain way to the people, to the world, it's kind of like you go down that road, there's no going back. It's kind of rough."
It didn't stop with just his personality being attacked, however, because Diaz then aimed his guns directly at St-Pierre's style inside the cage. It's no secret that St-Pierre has been criticized for out-wrestling opponents and not finishing anyone in his last five title defenses.
Diaz thinks that he should be applauded for not cowering to the idea that St-Pierre's way to fight is the true path to victory. According to the current judging standards, Diaz says St-Pierre is just playing by the rules, but rules are meant to be broken.
"I'd like to be known as someone who kept it real. I just don't like that I'm made out to be this evil person that needs to be shot down, that needs to be conquered. What the f—k? If anything, I'm like the superhero coming in with the anti-bulls—t," said Diaz. "Give me a f—king break. Are you seriously going to stick to the bulls—t forever? This is mixed martial arts ladies and gentlemen. This is some boring ass s—t we're watching lately, and we should see something new as far as I'm concerned."
The end of Nick Diaz's rant came with a compliment being paid toward St-Pierre, but not without tossing in a few more jabs about his style and how he wins fights.
"I like Georges, I'm a fan of Georges St-Pierre, I appreciate everything he does what he does to win. It meets the scoring criteria, I think that should be changed. I think that sucks, I think that really f—ks it up for everybody," said Diaz. "People hate me for saying that too, especially the strong wrestler. Especially the strong guy, he hates me for that one. Dana doesn't hear it and would love to ignore it, but one day I think the rest of the people of the world are going to see mixed martial arts for what it is and what it used to be and maybe start to manipulate the way it works a little bit.
"I mean come on, the scoring and the judging and the system, it's crap. I think they should just go ahead and take the elbows out, too. I just think that makes it, nullifies the action. That's how it works. One day people are going to realize, and they're going to look back and they're going to say this motherf—ker right here, he was saying that the whole time."
Nick Diaz was certainly right about one thing—it was a good idea to show up for the UFC 158 media conference call, because his performance just made a whole lot of people interested in buying next weekend's pay-per-view when he faces St-Pierre for the welterweight title.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.