Oh, Nick Diaz. When will you ever learn?
Or perhaps the real question is not when Diaz will learn, but if he will learn at all.
Diaz has a long history of simply not showing up for things he's scheduled for. Most famously, he skipped a couple of press conferences to promote a bout with Georges St-Pierre upon his return to the UFC from Strikeforce, which caused Dana White to flip his lid and pull Diaz from the bout altogether.
Of course, White then put Diaz back on the same card against Carlos Condit when he needed a proven draw to headline his pay-per-view event. He also gave Diaz a title fight coming off the loss to Condit and a subsequent suspension for failing a post-fight drug test.
I don't know what your idea of repercussions is, but I do know that being handed two consecutive title fights isn't much punishment at all.
There was also the time Diaz was slated for a superfight grappling match with Braulio Estima. He never turned up, leaving fans in attendance and folks watching at home waiting for a bout that would never happen. Diaz suffered no real consequences from that one, either.
There are lesser-known instances. Former FIGHT! Magazine and current MMAjunkie.com/USA Today columnist Ben Fowlkes told me that he was once deployed by the magazine to spend a few days in Stockton, where he was scheduled to interview Diaz for a cover story. After two days of chasing Diaz around Stockton and only talking to younger brother Nate, the magazine elected to pull Diaz from the cover.
The funny part of the story—or perhaps it's the sad part; I'm not quite sure—is that it came after Diaz complained about magazines not wanting to interview him or to come to Stockton or to put him on their covers.
The truth is that they do want to put Diaz on the cover. Every single journalist I know, every single outlet that covers mixed martial arts, would relish the opportunity to interview Diaz. He's a fascinating character, one of the most interesting in the sport.
And that's why Michael Schiavello, the host of an excellent interview show on AXS (the network formerly known as HDNet), was so very excited to travel to Stockton for a lengthy sit-down with the former Strikeforce welterweight champion.
Monday, Schiavello tweeted this:
@nickdiaz209 has no showed The Voice Versus. Nick you have let your fans down again... And me a big fan in particular. Unprofessional mate.— MichaelSchiavello.·. (@SchiavelloVOICE) July 22, 2013
I can't say I'm surprised by this turn of events. You shouldn't be, either. Diaz has spent the better part of his career proving that there's no commitment he can't break. If he says he'll do something but then changes his mind—even if he does so at great cost to the people who are paying an entire crew to travel to Stockton for the sole purpose of connecting with him—well, them's the breaks.
Diaz won't suffer any repercussions from this, just like he's never been handed any real form of punishment for any of the shenanigans he's pulled over the years.
Situations like this one only serve to endear him to his legions of fans who praise Diaz for "fighting the man" and "standing up for himself," even though he's doing nothing of the sort.
What he's doing, and what any right-thinking adult can plainly see, is being unprofessional.
But that's par for the course when dealing with Diaz. At some point, we can only blame ourselves for continually hoping that he'll act like a grown-up.
Because after all these years, we should know what to expect.
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