Cesar Gracie, the trainer and manager of Nick Diaz, has never been one to shy away from putting himself out there on a sound byte. He's routinely one of the more outspoken trainers/managers in the MMA game and, for better or worse, always states his opinion.
"I think Cesar Gracie is a huge part of the problem, to be honest with you," White said flatly. "Cesar comes out ... first of all the tweet that he tweeted. Second of all, comes out and says, ‘Well the guy that's producing (the UFC 158 Countdown show) lives up here in northern California so how much could this really be costing them?' I mean, this f****** guy has no clue about production.
And to come out and say something that asinine, is unbelievable. Yeah, when we send a crew up to shoot these things, what do you think we're sending up? Like, a guy with a f****** camcorder? We're sending the guy who shoots those features that has been working in the sports world for 30 years, and the crew he's got around him are good too."
The UFC President even went on to call Gracie "a dick."
White is referring to Diaz's tendency to show up late or not at all to certain media events. Gracie took to Twitter to explain Diaz's actions and said Diaz chose to rest up for the fight after a seven-hour flight and being drained from the weight cut.
Diaz has already cost himself a title shot once before for skipping media related events. The Stockton bad boy no-showed a press conference for his scheduled UFC 136 bout against GSP, and White removed Diaz from the fight.
Interestingly enough, Gracie responded to White's comments in an interview with Bloody Elbow's Steph Daniels and took the high road.
"It's kind of childish really, and it came out of left field...To address the issue about me being part of the problem, the thing he has to understand, and I think, for the most part, he does understand, that the Diaz' are gonna do what they're gonna do. I can't make them do something different. I will tell them what they need to do, I'll say what Dana wants them to do, but as far as making grown men do something that they don't want to do, it's very difficult, and there's nothing I can actually do about that. I think Dana knows that, so I don't really understand why he's trying to put a spin on it, saying I'm part of the problem, as if I'm the one telling them not to do something, which is absolutely ridiculous, and the farthest thing from the truth" (BloodyElbow).
It's bad enough that Diaz and White are always at odds with another, and it doesn't help that White clearly doesn't want to deal with Gracie in business. But money is the great equalizer in this situation and as long as Diaz and the Gracie team keep bringing in the money, White will deal with the free spirits.
I believe both sides are correct in their arguments. White infamously told Diaz he needed to "play along" back at UFC 136 and that's true today. As a UFC fighter, it's an understanding that you need to take part in media events and talk to reporters. Yes it's a major pain for fighters and their camps but for as long as Diaz has been competing at this level of competition, it should be manageable by now.
Yet, Gracie is right in that the UFC places quite a lot of media requirements on fighters. It's the biggest promotion in MMA, and there are tons of media requests on a daily basis for access to fighters. For a fighter going through a weight cutting process, being asked the same question one hundred times isn't exactly a fun activity.
Gracie and Diaz have a right to be annoyed at all the requirements for media but they should be professional enough to know this is how the game is played. There are ways to voice complaints with your boss, but no-showing public events and dropping lines through the media isn't the right way to go about it.
Unless otherwise stated, all quotes were obtained by B/R MMA.