I'll never forget the day when I dialed into a Strikeforce media conference call between Paul Daley and Nick Diaz. I was so honored to be invited by Strikeforce and Zuffa as a representative of Hurtsbad MMA to hear what these two warriors would have to say to one another.
It was a distinct honor, and absolute pleasure of mine to be in attendance.
Apparently not everyone participating on the call felt as such. One of the main components of the call, Nick Diaz, was tardy to say the least, leaving his manager Cesar Gracie to speak on his behalf and offer whatever explanation he could as to why the champ had not dialed in as scheduled.
Leaving all the media in attendance dangling on a string, Diaz finally picked up the phone and mumbled his way through a call intended to promote a fight, but it resembled something closer to Diaz sitting in a dentist chair with a mouth full of Novocaine having a molar ripped from his skull.
It was painfully apparent that Diaz had no interest in engaging the media, and in turn his fans or critics as he prepared for yet another Strikeforce title defense. After accosting one of MMA media's top journalists for asking a question many of us had on our minds, it was quite obvious that public relations was by far and away one of the lowest priorities on Diaz's list.
The question was would he ever face Scrap Pack team mate Jake Shields, and it set Diaz off like a short fuse on a case of dynamite. Who wouldn't like to know the answer to that question? Surely every responsible reporter on the line had it in their line up of questions, especially considering Shields was about to face pound for pound contender Georges St. Pierre in his UFC debut.
But in Nick's eyes the question was one of disrespect that came from an individual that represented something less than the sludge at the bottom of the septic tank, an MMA reporter.
His approach with the media comes as no surprise, this man exemplifies rebel behavior in his every action. From his off the mat behavior to how he treats his opponents inside the cage. The fingerprint that is Nick Diaz is no surprise to anyone what so ever.
Yet it appears as of late that not only is he belligerently defying every possible expectation imposed upon him as a former Strikeforce champion, and number one UFC welterweight contender, but he has forgotten something more important than his obvious discontent with “playing by the rules”.
He has forgotten the fans of this sport.
Like him or loathe him, Nick Diaz has been up for debate from both sides of the equation almost every time he made a move. From his title run in Strikeforce to a potential superfight with GSP, Diaz is a hot button issue. The fans of this sport have taken great interest in where his career has been and more importantly where it is headed.
After two no shows at UFC press conferences, in which Diaz was required to appear and promote his upcoming bout with GSP, it appears his future in this sport may actually be non existent. For some reason that strikes me as a god damn shame.
And there is no one to blame but Nick Diaz himself. He can deflect his responsibility to promote his fights and denounce the media conference calls or live events all he wants. He can talk about his responsibility to his team and how it takes priority over all else, and honestly such an attitude is quite commendable.
Let's face it to take a pass on a conference call to train or prepare other team mates is understandable. But to outright write off his obligations as a public figure in this sport is irresponsible and actually a little infuriating.
Not infuriating because he doesn't have the right to choose his own path but more so that he chose a path and then has attempted to circumvent that path by getting to the end destination by going any direction he so chooses.
Because now it has cost us all. His defiance of the media, Dana White and the UFC, and most importantly the fans of this sport has now cost us all one of the most important fights in the welterweight division since GSP vs B.J. Penn.
This fight, however a fan may believed it might have gone, was a monumental and historic event in the making. A meeting of welterweight champions in two of the sport's top organizations in the world. Two polar opposites who were somehow made for one another in the theories of a ying to a yang. This fight would have been historical in so many ways it is hard to nail down all the angles.
Now, as of today, this fight is as important as that septic tank sludge mentioned earlier, because it will never happen. Listen Nick Diaz is a tough cookie, not doubt about it, a cookie you do not mess with, a cookie with a low tolerance for crap, and a short fuse.
Well he can't hold a candle to Dana White. They say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, whatever, do not cross the bushy eye browed, bald headed man who calls himself the UFC President. It will be like you never existed in the UFC, just ask Don Frye.
Dana White had enough of Nick Diaz five years ago. He went back on his word, quite a rarity, and allowed Diaz the opportunity to vacate his Strikeforce title in hopes of chasing GSP's UFC strap. He allowed Diaz straight to the front of the line and Diaz took all he was offered, then slapped Dana White like a bitch and spit in his face.
Who knows exactly why, who knows what reasons moved Diaz to fail to appear at two consecutive pressers meant to promote probably the biggest fight in UFC welterweight history. At this point, who gives a rat's ass.
No matter your personal opinions of Nick Diaz the fighter, Nick Diaz the man has shown his ass on more than enough occasions to never be taken seriously by this sport again. And that is tragic. Because there was no way in hell a responsible MMA professional could overlook Diaz the fighter, but somehow the man has overshadowed one of this sport's greatest assets.
Nick we were counting on you to be part of a historic match up of tremendous champions. Why didn't you show bro? Where were you when the sport needed you? Do you not realize how important you are to not just your team and your ego but to this entire thing?
Someone has to ask the question. Are you scared homie?
This article originaly featured at Hurtsbad MMA.