The highly anticipated UFC welterweight title fight between Georges St. Pierre and Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz is off after Diaz failed to show at a UFC 137 press conference in Toronto yesterday and a press conference in Las Vegas this afternoon.
Dana White explained at the press conference that Diaz personally told him Monday evening that he would attend the presser today, but he’s been MIA since. Additionally, after Diaz missed the Toronto press conference yesterday, Cesar Gracie assured MMA Junkie that Diaz would show, but it turns out Gracie doesn’t even know where he is. Apparently, Diaz was at Gracie’s house, but he sneaked out and hasn’t seen him since. Gracie actually called Dana during the press conference and told him he’s embarrassed, agrees with his decision to pull him from the fight and he’s still trying to track him down.
With Diaz pulled from the fight, Carlos Condit has been awarded the opportunity to challenge St. Pierre for the UFC welterweight title. It’s not clear who BJ Penn will fight now. In fact, Dana White hasn’t told him the news yet, but you have to figure the Fitch rematch will be considered.
Dana stressed that Nick Diaz hasn’t been cut from the organization… yet. He still wants to talk to him before deciding what to do with him, but yeah, they’ll probably let him go.
As Dana said, all he had to do was “play the game” just a little bit. He didn’t have to talk or answer questions. All he had to do was show up Dana said. What a shame.
Update: Cesar Gracie tells MMA Fighting he still isn’t sure where Nick Diaz is, but thinks his social anxiety is the root of his problem.
“I’ve stuck up for Nick a lot, but I can’t stick up for him on this one… I would have driven him to Vegas if it came to that,” Gracie said. “I don’t care. He just turned his phone off and acted like a little kid. It just doesn’t cut it.”
“Nick is like family to me. We’re going to have a long discussion, hopefully with Dana, to see if he’s still in the UFC or not. But let’s face it, Nick is 28 years old. I talked to Dana about this before, and I think a big problem with all of this is Nick has social anxiety. He doesn’t like to go and be away from home. He has no trouble fighting in the cage, though… You can’t just not show up and tell anyone anything.”
“He doesn’t feel comfortable being around people,” he said. “He has a very deep ingrained social anxiety, and it’s something he probably needs help for, I think. I think that’s why he self-medicates himself with the marijuana. That’s my amateur opinion.
“He did the same crap with Paul Daley and a couple other guys. It was the same Nick Diaz. It’s not the pressure of fighting GSP. It’s the pressure of doing a news conference before the fight. Fighting is no pressure because he gets to beat someone up or get beat up.”
“I’ve always been there to facilitate things for him and stuck up for him even when he was wrong. If I were him, I would be calling Dana at some point basically begging for my job and giving [me] another chance to fight for the title.”
More comments from Gracie over at MMA Junkie.