And he nearly did.
For the first 45 minutes of the call, Diaz was nowhere to be found while BJ Penn, Matt Mitrione and Cheick Kongo all took turn answering reporters’ questions. But unlike last time when Dana White booted him out of his title fight with Georges St. Pierre, Dana blamed the UFC for the no-show.
I’m hearing UFC dropped the ball on the Nick Diaz no show today!! SUCKS
In a surprising turn of events though, Diaz did eventually find his way onto the call. When asked why he was late, Diaz claimed he knew nothing about it before going into a rant about how someone is getting paid $100,000 to tell him what to do, but he never hears about “sh*t until way late.”
When he actually got to the topic of fighting BJ Penn, Diaz said wasn’t happy about it and would prefer to fight Georges St. Pierre. Unlike his manager Cesar Gracie who was pretty enthusiastic about turning Penn-Diaz into a five-rounder, Diaz said he doesn’t really care either way, he just wants to fight and get paid. Penn on the other hand wants more money if he has to go two extra rounds.
“I want to be compensated accordingly and that’s it. I’m more than willing to do a five-round fight,” Penn told MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday. “If Dana wants a five-round fight, just give me a call and we can put it together right now.
“Or if Cesar wants to make it a five-round fight and he wants to compensate me personally, he can put his money where his mouth is, it’s that easy. I’ve been training to fight. I’m ready to fight.”
When asked about his Strikeforce belt and if it should be on the line next Saturday, Diaz said he really doesn’t care about the SF belt and BJ Penn can have it.
For Nick Diaz, it’s as simple as training, fighting and getting paid. He really doesn’t care about anything else, especially not press conferences.
Update: MMA Junkie has Diaz’s quotes from the conference call. Here he is explaining why he was late.
“I didn’t even know about the call,” Diaz told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “What happened? I didn’t even know there was a call. Nobody called me in the last week, couple days, and said there was a call. I trained last night, I went home, got something to eat, went to sleep, woke up, my phone was dead, and then my brother’s telling me I’m supposed to be on a call. I don’t know anything about it.”
Cesar Gracie backed him up.
“He did not know about the call,” Gracie told MMAjunkie.com. “I was told about the call yesterday afternoon, literally yesterday afternoon, and I have not seen Nick since yesterday afternoon. He went on a training, crazy bike ride or whatever. He was out there and didn’t answer his phone. He was out there training, and no one told him about the call.”
A frustrated Diaz later went into the rant about paying large amounts of money to people to take care of his business affairs, but no one can tell him about a simple press conference.
“I’ve got like a lawyer that’s supposed to get paid $100,000 – a ridiculous amount of money,” Diaz said. “I’ve been doing the same since I started – since I was 17. I live down the street from my parents, who I used to live in the same house with. Now I live with my brother, and I’ve got all these business people around me trying to make deals. I don’t know anything about that.
“All I know is that somebody’s getting paid over a hundred grand just to tell me what I’m supposed to do and what I’m not supposed to do. And I’m like, for that much money, I think I could have had somebody standing around telling me, ‘Hey, you can’t miss this press conference. That kind of voids the whole contract, and then you’re out, and you get [expletive]. You’re fighting [expletive]. You make no money. So you have to be at this thing.’
“If I had read that [expletive] over myself, I’d have been a little more cautious. I probably would have showed up to that press conference, but that’s not the case. I’m in the gym training hard. I think that’s what’s important. I think we made a deal; a deal’s a deal. I don’t know anything about going back on that. That never came to mind. But as far as I’m concerned, people working for me should have been there to tell me what’s what, and I didn’t have that like everybody else has.”
“Nick is Nick. He’s going to do what he does. For me, it’s just that’s what he does. …I enjoy watching the stuff that Nick Diaz does. He doesn’t change. He’s just always himself.”
At the end of the day though, all the madness outside the cage is nothing more than an afterthought to Nick Diaz.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen with me, but it’s not going to make a difference whether or not I whine or cry about it or panic. I’m just going to do what I always do: train. And when it’s time to fight, I go fight.”
To Nick Diaz, it’s that simple. He trains and he fights. And that’s all that matters.