Oh Nick Diaz it’s like the same old song with you and the record keeps spinning the same tune. It’s one thing to miss a telephone press conference, but to no show time after time is something that is insulting not only to the company but to your opponent. Not many people in the sports industry likes the media but they find ways to get it done, while you find ways to avoid everything and make up excuses along the way.
First let me say when many couldn’t find Nick Diaz I was worried for his well-being too, not knowing if he was mentally in the right frame of mind. But after somebody located him and found he was just fine my thoughts immediately went into why would he do this? Adding to that he decided to post this little video while driving. Not safe for work as it does have some vulgar language.
So let’s go over this little video and see where Nick Diaz went horribly wrong.
“Was trying to get on a plane this morning to get to the UFC Press Conference”
"I guess I missed the beauty pageant"
Actually Diaz was offered 3 other flights for a Toronto Press Conference and he missed all of them with no valid excuses. Then he decided to miss the Vegas flight and stayed in San Francisco while GSP took the trip to make himself accessible for the upcoming bout. The problem is Nick Diaz cares only about fighting and not what the business is about.
Sure Nick may have some kind of problem with the media and many fighters do such as Forrest Griffin, who has said he doesn’t like the media and publicity surrounding them. But he makes every effort and shows up to everything that he is asked, because that is part of a fighter’s job to sell a fight. I am willing to guess if I didn’t show up to my job and with no call and no communication at all I’m sure I wouldn’t be allowed to enter the next day like nothing happened. It’s a fair comparison because Nick Diaz has done this over and over again and shows no remorse for his mistakes.
Dana White knew what he was getting when he signed Nick Diaz away from Strikeforce and during the press conference he asked for Diaz to play the game even a little bit. The big incentive for Diaz to fight GSP is that he was going to make a lot of money for this fight and he would be financially set for the rest of his life. Yet, Diaz decided to play his “tough guy” moniker and be the rebel which backfired.
I don’t understand why Diaz can’t put forth the effort like every other fighter that makes sacrifices for the better will of not only of the UFC but the sport of MMA in general. Sure Diaz has his fan base that agree with him he just wants to fight but he can still play that rebel role by showing up to these events and not say a word. Making yourself shown to the public gives them an idea you care about this fight a lot more than a guy who sits at home and all he does his train. Sure many like that persona, where the fighter doesn’t care about anything else but fighting but taking a risk with such an already marketed fight is not something the UFC can make.
So yesterday it was announced Nick Diaz was allowed back on the UFC 137 card and he will be taking on BJ Penn whose original opponent, Carlos Condit is now facing GSP for the Welterweight Championship. Now many are asking why Dana White who was visibly upset the day before, give Diaz a fight on the same exact card.
Now many are calling for the WWE writers to make themselves known for this dramatic turns of events and to say that the whole thing was a ploy to get more people talking about the card.
Right when I heard Diaz getting the fight with BJ Penn I was scratching my head and wondering what is going on. Then I realized there had to be a reason why Diaz was allowed back on the card and my guess the UFC was in a bind for a fighter. I heard the fight was offered to Fitch and Dana White was asked on Twitter and he responded with that he was still hurt. So the UFC had no choice and give Diaz a lower caliber fight and much less money to fight BJ Penn.
I think with Diaz getting this fight, it does two things for the relationship between him and the UFC management. He needs to realize he made a mistake and that being a fighter isn’t just getting into the cage and letting fists fly. Another factor was that Diaz shot himself in the foot; losing a chance at a big payday and possibly being a champion again. But with the stunts Diaz pulled he tried to play hardball and the UFC didn’t blink. It was a lot different for Diaz when he was in Strikeforce and now he needs to realize what his job entails and not undermine the higher powers.
This was a wakeup call for him and basically any other fighter that wanted to follow the same path Diaz has decided to walk on. But do I think Diaz finally realized that what he did was wrong? With that YouTube video he put up after the press conference, and the past things he has done I don’t think he has grasped the reality of what is developing. With Nick Diaz you get the guy who wants to just fight which is all great and doesn’t want to lose that image as somebody who doesn’t care about anything else, but when you start presenting the business you work for in a negative light you won’t last long.
Yes being a MMA fighter is a unique job, but at the end of the day it’s still a job. Many still fail to realize that it’s a business like any other professional sport or team. When one of your employees decide not show up for work or taunt your company on any given day, ramifications need to be issued.
Nick Diaz tried to be the “tougher” person and his image got the best of himself, but until we see him show a little effort I don’t think Mr. 209 will submit to a change. It’s a sad situation for a great fighter that impresses every time he does fight, but until the attitude changes he will be nothing more than a problem for the UFC or any other company in the future.