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Crazy But True: BJ Penn Fights Nick Diaz At UFC 137

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Instead of cutting Nick Diaz for going AWOL and skipping out on his UFC 137 media obligations like he hinted at yesterday, Dana White has decided to give Nick Diaz the co-main event slot Carlos Condit vacated when he took Diaz’s spot in the UFC 137 main event.

Yes, that means instead of Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit vs. BJ Penn at UFC 137, we get Georges St. Pierre vs. Carlos Condit and BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz on Oct. 29. Dana White made the announcement earlier tonight on Twitter (as seen above).

To summarize, Dana White stood in front of the media yesterday and said Nick Diaz would probably be let go. Then, Dana told MMA30’s Dave Farra he could never trust Nick Diaz again. And then, Nick Diaz posts a video that offers nothing resembling a legitimate excuse or sincere apology. In fact, the only thing that video accomplished was belittling Dana White’s press conferences as nothing more than “beauty pageants.” So what does he do with Nick Diaz? He gives him a co-headlining fight against BJ Penn on the same card. That makes about as much sense as Diaz not showing up to the press conference in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong, GSP-Condit and Penn-Diaz are both awesome fights (though I’d still rather see GSP-Diaz), but you have to admit the whole situation is about as nutty as Nick Diaz’s bizarre behavior.

For what it’s worth, here’s Cesar Gracie’s comments on the puzzling switch.

“I think Dana jumped the gun a little bit by taking Nick off the card,” said Cesar Gracie, Diaz’s manager and lead trainer. “It was Nick’s fault for the whole thing happening, but I think if Dana (could have) just fined with him or something… You’ve got to show up for them, but you shouldn’t be cut for missing press conferences.”

“Nick truly wants to beat up GSP,” Gracie said. “The BJ fight, the animosity truly isn’t there. Nick likes to have a disdain for his opponents, and he doesn’t have that disdain for BJ.”

“It’s a dream match-up,” Gracie said. “I refer to it as UFC 137 actually has a main event again.”

I’m with Gracie on this one. I understand there are obligations to be met and a level of professionalism to be maintained, but Nick no-showing only created that much more buzz for the fight. Probably more than if he would have actually attended. I personally think a fine would have been a suitable punishment, but what’s done is done I suppose.

On a side note, Jon Fitch lobbied for the fight today, but BJ Penn shut him down.

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