Nick Diaz doesn’t do conference calls. Or at least that’s how his manager/trainer Cesar Gracie explained his absence on today’s Strikeforce ‘Diaz vs. Noons 2’ conference call.
“Nick doesn’t do conferences calls. It’s not in his psyche. He’s too busy training to be on the phone,” said Gracie. “He just doesn’t operate in that mindset of, ‘This is a sport, and we’re going to talk about it.’ It gets to the point where you’re making up some kind of rivalry, and it’s a fake thing. With Nick, it’s not a fake thing.”
So every other fighter on the planet has time to take a break from training to get on the phone for a media teleconference, but not Nick Diaz? That’s weak, but not surprising. KJ Noons agrees. When he heard Nick was a no-show, he blasted him for it.
“That’s pretty unprofessional. I respect Nick as a fighter, but I can’t stand the guy, personally. From different people, I’ve heard he’s a really nice guy… But you know when he pulls s–t like this, he doesn’t show up on a conference call, f–k, how do you like a guy like that? You know what I mean? Or he punks off, or he gets your family involved? And s–t like that. It’s like, f–k, you just wanna f–k this motherf–ker sometimes.”
While I doubt Strikeforce will say or do much about Nick no-showing, I do wonder what Showtime execs think about it. A missed conference call certainly isn’t the biggest deal in the world, but Nick has caused Showtime fits in the past, most notably when he failed to show up for a pre-fight drug test last year and forced Strikeforce to pull him from the card last-minute. As you may remember, Ken Hershman was livid.
“If you’re going to be a main event fighter or a fight at this level, you got to be able to show up. And if you can’t and you’re not reliable, then who can count on you and where are you going with your career? So you have to make a commitment. Either you’re going to do it right or not do it all. You only get one or two shots at that and then it’s done…I don’t see how I could spends hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars promoting somebody who’s not going to be able to show up. It’s just bad business…It’s tough when a whole organization and network are relying on you and you don’t have the professional courtesy to show up. To me, it’s inexcusable and not something we want in this organization.”
No one would argue that a conference call is more important than showing up for your pre-fight drug test, but at the end of the day, it’s a commitment just the same. Missing obligations, large or small, isn’t “doing it right.” If a network or organization is going to put resources into promoting you as a headliner, the least you can do honor your commitments and help them promote your fight, especially when you’re one of their champions.
A full transcript of the conference call with quotes from KJ Noons and Cesar Gracie can be found at CagePotato.com.