Update: Lacey’s promoter sent out a press release today announcing that the fight was canceled. The press release states that Diaz has signed to take an MMA fight instead.
Diaz’s camp told MMAJunkie.com that if the UFC was to offer Nick Diaz a fight against UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre that he would back out of the fight and take the UFC Super Fight. It sounds to me that Diaz is trying to play a bit of hardball with Dana White which usually doesn’t turn out well for those that attempt to play games with the UFC president.
Cesar Gracie told MMAJunkie.com, “Barring something like (UFC president) Dana White telling us, ‘Hey, we really need you to fight GSP at such-and-such a date and it conflicts with [boxing] – barring that, we’re going to fight Lacy.”
In other words, the ball is in your court Dana White.
It is really hard to take Diaz and his camp seriously at this point. It was only a few weeks ago that Gracie told Inside MMA that Diaz had signed a contract to box former IBF and WBA light middleweight champion Fernando Vargas. Immediately after Gracie broke the news, Vargas’ camp denied any such knowledge of Diaz signing to fight Vargas or any negotiations.
Diaz always something of a loose cannon, has really been on the warpath against management for the last few months. Diaz has started openly complaining about not making enough money to fight and driving a Honda while his peers in the UFC are getting rich. The Strikeforce champion has also expressed his frustrations with the lack of competition that Strikeforce has offered him over the last several months.
In regards to money, no money figure has been released for the fight. However, Diaz’s camp is claiming that Nick will make more money for this one fight than he would in his next Strikeforce fight.
MMAJunkie.com reports that when Diaz re-signed with Strikeforce in December that his contract allowed him to take one professional boxing fight in 2011. The contract was signed with Strikeforce before the company was purchased from Zuffa. Of course the new management team in Strikeforce would never sign a fighter with that kind of contract, although they have acknowledged that they will honor all terms of current contracts which includes Diaz’s boxing clause.
Boxing Jeff Lacy and Fernando Vargas are two completely different animals. Fighting Vargas in a boxing debut may have been a bit much for even Nick Diaz. Lacy is coming off back to back losses and hasn’t looked good in awhile. Lacy is 3-3 in his last six fights.
White has yet to address the situation with Diaz. “I’m going to talk to Nick Diaz,” White said. “Literally, when this fight is done I’m flying up to Stockton to go talk to him.”
It is a tricky situation right now for the UFC. Dana White did talk about making a GSP vs. Nick Diaz fight over the weekend at UFC 129. White has said in the past that he needed to keep Strikeforce fighters separate from the UFC fighters but conceded over the weekend, “I can do what I want to do”.
The bad news is that even if Dana White wants to make the fight, it could be quite awhile before the fight would even be possible. St-Pierre damaged his eye in his UFC 129 fight against Jake Shields and has said that he wants to take the rest of the year off. Whether Diaz would patiently wait until December for the fight or risk injury with the Lacy fight is something that the Diaz camp would have to address shortly to be considered for the fight.
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