Nick Diaz is portrayed as the rule-breaking, anti-establishment bad boy of MMA.
But what he's really shown us is that he's an insecure guy that attempts to hide behind his own negative self-perception in insults and baseless banter aimed at others.
Diaz is set to battle St. Pierre for GSP's UFC welterweight title on Saturday at UFC 158—if he shows up.
If you know Diaz's history of no-showing for events and other irresponsible behavior, then you'll take that as a joke, but not one that should be dismissed as the most improbable event.
He no-showed for the public workout, per MMA Junkie, and he once no-showed for an actual fight in May 2012. The purse for that fight was supposed to be donated to St. Jude Christian Hospital, per Maggie Hendricks of Cage Writer/Yahoo! Sports.
When Diaz is involved, nothing can be certain.
He is an incredibly tough, skilled and well-rounded fighter, but his actions are often the product of self-sabotage. He is the eternal victim and excuse maker, and he is consistently blaming others for his own missteps.
Diaz's words and insults are hard to follow. Take a listen to a little of what he has to say at the UFC 158 press conference.
Though just about any comment he makes is proof of what I write, home in on the comments from him beginning at the 5:50 mark.
I'm not sure what he's talking about, but it is clear that he's bitter. It seems that no one he lashes out against is the culprit for what ails him. It appears as though he expects to lose this fight, he expects to be hated, and he's angry about it.
Yet he continues to perpetuate this persona that has earned him his reputation.
No matter what he says as hype, the mention of GSP and steroids comes off as though he's giving an excuse before he goes down on Saturday night. It's almost as if he wants to plant that seed as a pre-arranged excuse for his loss.
What best explains Nick Diaz's issues with GSP?
It looks like this moment is too big for him; headlining a pay-per-view against one of the most celebrated fighters in the history of the sport, in GSP's hometown to boot.
If Diaz doesn't like being the bad guy, as he states in the video, then he's going to hate how he feels on Saturday night in Montreal, Quebec.
Very few—if any—Canadian fighters are as beloved as GSP. The crowd is going to be all over Diaz, and he's going to have to maintain his composure.
There are many layers to this confrontation with GSP, but there is a very simple sin at the root of the animosity. No matter how much Diaz takes shots at GSP, it is clear he envies him.
In a conference call, Sherdog.com captured this telling exchange between the two men. A reporter asked GSP if he was pampered, but Diaz interrupted with this comment:
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
I hope so, motherf-----. If I had that much money, I’d be pampering myself up and having mother-----s pampering my s--- left and right. Every hour, there’d be [someone] showing up to pamper me. That would be that.
GSP responded with:
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Let me tell you something, uneducated fool. Listen to me. I have not always been rich. I started from the bottom. I made myself and worked 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 will never succeed in your life because I don’t think you’re smart enough to understand how you should [act] to reach that point.
You don’t know anything about me, man. You have no idea where I come from. You’re not the only jealous guy.
If you look at the no-shows and other improper things Diaz has done throughout his career, then it is safe to say that he may have ruined some of his own opportunities.
Making comments like this makes him look like a hater who covets the success and wealth of a peer, though he lacks the drive and discipline to work to attain equal or more success.
Instead, he takes shots from his guard, reinforced by standard-less behavior. That's actually pretty sad.
Success and the pressures that come along with it are too much for Diaz, so he bails out on them before he has to live up to the standards of his own near-accomplishments.
Diaz is talented, but his mouth and the skill of his opponent have created a moment that is likely too big for him. Though I believe he could win this fight, he probably won't.
If he does lose, then part of the blame should be attributed to his own negative approach.