Well, Nick Diaz has given his side of the story, if you can call it that. Nick addressed the situation in the video seen above earlier this evening. The thing is Nick doesn’t really explain why he didn’t make it to the press conference today, only saying that he was in San Francisco trying to catch a last-minute flight to Las Vegas. Diaz half-heartedly apologized for not making it to the presser, or “beauty pageant,” as he called it, but stressed that he’s never once backed out of a fight or not shown up for one, which isn’t entirely true. Diaz was scheduled to fight Jay Hieron in Strikeforce in 2009 but failed to show for a pre-fight drug test, forcing the promoters to pull the fight. Nevertheless, Diaz thinks it’s “ridiculous” that the UFC gave his title shot to Carlos Condit and doesn’t seem to understand why they did it other than they get to save money now. Funny thing is Nick doesn’t really seem too upset that he let this potentially life-changing opportunity slip through his fingers. The way he sees it, he just wants to fight and get paid.
Bottom line, Nick Diaz is still acting like the world is out to get him and this is just another classic case of Nick Diaz being Nick Diaz.
Meanwhile, Cesar Gracie told Ariel Helwani that Nick just doesn’t feel comfortable doing all the media.
Just spoke to Cesar again. He said he’s located Diaz and he is fine. Diaz is disappointed the fight is off and surprised too. He says Nick didn’t feel comfortable doing all the media, which led to the no shows. Cesar respects the UFC’s decision but does think “it’s kinda harsh.” Both Nick and Cesar have talked to Dana since the presser. No news on what’s next, but he’s still in UFC.
A few more notes in the wake of this latest Nick Diaz fiasco:
— Georges St. Pierre thinks Carlos Condit is more dangerous than Nick Diaz.
“I do believe this is a more dangerous fight,” St-Pierre told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “Condit has way more power, way more diversity of attack than Nick Diaz. He’s got very good jiu-jitsu. He’s not only good with his hands standing up, he’s got knees, elbows, kicks. I think he’s going to be a way more dangerous opponent than Nick Diaz.”
“I was happy to fight Nick Diaz because Nick Diaz has been saying a lot of things about me,” St-Pierre said. “This was a fight that everybody wanted to see because he was champion of his organization and I was champion of the UFC. It was some sort of, not unification, but kind of.
“But I do believe that Carlos Condit is more dangerous than Nick Diaz. I do believe that if Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit would fight, I would put my money on Carlos Condit. For me, it’s even a bigger challenge.”
Like the rest of us, he doesn’t understand why Nick would blow this opportunity.
“It’s crazy,” St-Pierre said. “It’s the opportunity to get out of the shadows and make a living. I just don’t understand. By doing so, you would have a better lifestyle, a better well-being. His life would have changed completely.
“If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for your family. Do it for your kids. … It’s a little bit selfish, thinking like that. I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense.”
— One man’s loss is another man’s gain. Carlos Condit is thrilled with the unexpected opportunity.
“The timing was perfect for this to all come together. First I want to thank the UFC for allowing me this opportunity and also my agent Malki Kawa who saw an opening and took advantage of it. With me already fighting on that card, I will need to make some adjustments to get ready for a new opponent, but my actual training is still right on schedule. It’s an honor to be able to fight for the championship, especially against one of the legends of our sport in Georges St-Pierre. I’ve been fighting for nearly a decade and there has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears that has gone into that. A lot of sacrifices have been made both personally and professionally, and I’m looking forward to showing the UFC that I am deserving of this opportunity.”
Word is he even broke down in tears when Dana White told him the news.
— I’ll be honest, I really didn’t think the UFC would pull Diaz from the fight when the rumors started flying earlier today, but as Dana White explained, he just didn’t feel confident that Diaz would show up on fight night.
“Am I supposed to move forward with this fight and feel confident that this kid is going to show up to fight?” White said. “He’s running and hiding from his camp, his team. I’d rather pull the fight now than not have him show up the night of the event.”
I seriously, seriously doubt Nick would no-show for the actual fight, but I’m not the one who has everything on the line either, so I can see where the UFC is coming from.
— Regarding the GSP-Condit fight, Greg Jackson will follow “team protocols” and not corner or coach either fighter for UFC 137.
“Teammate protocols are pretty clear in this situation so everybody knows what happening. I step out, the other coaches — John [Danaher], Phil [Nurse] and Firas [Zahabi] — will take care of GSP and probably [Mike] Winkeljohn and some of the other guys here will take care of Carlos. But I step out of it, so I won’t be cornering either guy. They’ll fight each other. Those are the new teammate protocols. We knew this would be coming — it will probably be coming again –but this time we are very well prepared.
Carlos is still training with a team. I am just not going to do game plans and private lessons and everything that I normally do for the guys because usually it’s a pretty intense process — I give them private lessons all the time — heavy on the game planning, heavy on the personal growth plan, and for this, I’ll just let the other coaches do that for both Georges and Carlos. So I’ll just step out. They’re all amazing coaches. Geez, I’m the worst coach on the team. They’ll all do their thing.”
Given their personalities, I think it’s safe to say this isn’t going to turn into a soap opera like the Jon Jones-Rashad Evans fiasco did.
— It’s still unknown who BJ Penn will fight at UFC 137, but Dana White says it’s someone that is going to make everyone “flip out.”
“I’m working on that now,” White said. “If I told you what I want to do with that fight you guys would flip out, so we’ll see what happens.”
If those comments didn’t already give it away, one potential opponent we can rule out is Jon Fitch. Dana told Heavy.com he won’t be ready in time. Update: And Jon Fitch told MMA Nation tonight that he told the UFC he’s ready and willing to fight BJ Penn or Nick Diaz, so who knows.