After listening to Scott Coker’s reaction to Nick Diaz’s latest career blunder, I get the feeling he’d promote Nick know matter what. Showtime Sports head Ken Hershman, however, isn’t quite as forgiving. In this interview with Steve Cofield, he implies that Nick probably only has one more chance left to be a featured fighter on their network before moving on to someone else.
“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.”
While I doubt Nick will actually recognize it, his latest screw-up ought to be a wake-up call for him to get his act together. Mixed martial arts is becoming big business now with a lot of major companies getting involved, and they’re only going to put up with his antics for so long. Sure, professional athletes are given a lot more leniency for the mistakes they make (see Michael Vick) than the rest of us would get in our careers, but Nick has been screwing up for a long time now, all due to his marijuana habit. I’m not saying he needs to drop his controversial personality and become a PR robot, but he at least needs to honor the commitments he makes.
By the way, Coker says that Nick won’t be able to box until he’s fulfilled his contractual obligations with Strikeforce, which isn’t going to be for quite awhile.