In an absolutely crazy turn of events, UFC President Dana White has booted Nick Diaz out of a UFC 137 superfight opposite Georges St-Pierre after Diaz fails to show up to press conferences in Toronto and Las Vegas.
The fact that Diaz missed the press conference is not entirely shocking because Diaz is known for abhorring PR duties, and has missed conference calls and press events before. However, this fight was Diaz's big break. It would have been his most high-profile fight by far and would have made him a lot of money.
During today's press conference, White stated that Diaz lied to his face and that the UFC had wasted $15,000 in flights alone to try to get Diaz to the press conferences. White had stated in previous interviews that Diaz's biggest problem was that he refused to "play the game," and this refusal appears to have cost Diaz big time.
Diaz has blown his opportunity and although Dana White said that Diaz has not yet been cut, Diaz's future remains uncertain.
Stepping in to face St-Pierre is Carlos Condit. Condit isn't nearly as marketable of a matchup for St-Pierre because Condit is not nearly as popular or polarizing as Diaz. MMA fans had been extremely excited about the potential superfight and this announcement will surely be a letdown for many.
Despite the fact that Condit isn't as popular as Diaz, he is still just as tough of a challenge for St-Pierre. In recent bouts Condit has added knockout power to what was already one of the most well-rounded arsenals in the welterweight division.
Questions Going Forward
Fans will no doubt be angry about this announcement. Although there will be some who will sympathize with Diaz, in the end, the blame for this should fall completely on Diaz for squandering the biggest moment in his career. Can Diaz finally get it together and take his job seriously?
St-Pierre said he was shocked by the turn of events and that he at first thought it was a prank. When asked about Carlos Condit as an opponent, St-Pierre said that Condit is a more dangerous fighter than Diaz. Really?
With Carlos Condit moving in for Diaz, BJ Penn is now left without an opponent. Dana White stated that while nothing has been set, he has some "crazy" ideas for what to do with Penn. What matchup is next for Penn?
After blowing up a much-anticipated showdown between St-Pierre and Diaz, White will certainly be taking some heat from fans. For his own part, White said that he knew what he was getting himself into when he signed Diaz, but he had made it clear to Diaz that showing up for press conferences was mandatory and that Diaz blew it.
But given how much money the fight would have made, did White make the right call?
White chose this moment to send a message to fighters that they can't get away with things like this, but he certainly will pay a huge price for doing so.