One of the biggest UFC dream matches of the year is now literally just a dream. The highly anticipated Nick Diaz vs. Georges St-Pierre championship fight has been canceled. Carlos Condit will now step in and challenge GSP at UFC 137.
It really was too good to be true wasn’t it? The news is a shocker and the events surrounding the cancellation may be some of the strangest in UFC history. Dana White pulled Diaz from the fight after missing two straight days of press conferences. Yep, arguably the biggest money fight of the year for the UFC is off due to missed press conferences.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]The controversy started on Tuesday when Diaz missed a scheduled Canadian press conference. Diaz’s manager Cesar Gracie tried but he really didn’t have many answers. GSP was upset feeling it wasn’t fair that he had to disrupt his training camp while Diaz didn’t. Diaz once again missed the press conference the following day in Las Vegas. According to Dana White, Diaz missed three flights and thus White has canceled the fight.
Even Diaz’s manager couldn’t defend Nick’s actions. “There’s a lot of hard workers I see that have trouble putting food on the table for their kids,” Gracie said. “I’ve stuck up for Nick a lot, but I can’t stick up for him on this one.”
This all goes back to what Dana White has been saying about Diaz for years. White has repeatedly said kind things about Diaz while Nick was in Strikeforce but said that he couldn’t take him back into the UFC until Diaz was ready to do business. Whether it is immaturity or just some kind of strange way to get inside GSP’s head, Diaz obviously wasn’t ready to do business so the deal is off.
“I’d had my reservations about Nick Diaz for a long time,” White said. “You’ve heard me use the term ‘play the game.’ All I asked him for was this much. When he signed, I said, ‘Let me tell you what kid, add up all the purses of you career, this will be biggest fight of your life.’ You have the opportunity to fight GSP and win the welterweight title. But I need you to do certain things.”
The root of the problem is Diaz’s social anxiety issues according to his manager. “I would have driven him to Vegas if it came to that. I don’t care. He just turned his phone off and acted like a little kid. It just doesn’t cut it. Nick is like family to me. We’re going to have a long discussion, hopefully with Dana, to see if he’s still in the UFC or not. But let’s face it, Nick is 28 years old. I talked to Dana about this before, and I think a big problem with all of this is Nick has social anxiety. He doesn’t like to go and be away from home. He has no trouble fighting in the cage, though. … He doesn’t feel comfortable being around people. He has a very deep ingrained social anxiety, and it’s something he probably needs help for, I think. I think that’s why he self-medicates himself with the marijuana. That’s my amateur opinion.”
[adinserter name=”366 left”]Carlos Condit will now step in to replace Diaz. Condit was already scheduled to fight BJ Penn at UFC 137, so there won’t be any issues with a short training camp. Condit is riding a four-fight win streak in the UFC. Condit is 4-1 since joining the UFC and is coming off a very impressive first-round knockout win over Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 132. There is definitely an argument to be made that Condit may actually have a better shot at beating GSP than Diaz.
Nick Diaz talks a good game but he cost himself the fight of a lifetime and the most money he will ever make for one night’s work in his career. The UFC is likely done with Nick barring some crazy explanation which puts one of the most talented MMA fighters back on the free agent market. Dana White said he hasn’t decided whether he would cut Diaz or not, but I can’t see how or why he would want to keep him. With talks of a Bellator-Spike TV deal, a spot in the company would make a lot of sense for Nick.
As an MMA fan, today is truly a sad and disappointing day.
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