So, the October 29th UFC event has a new title fight now, as UFC President Dana White has stepped in and removed Nick diaz from the main event. Welterweight Champion Georges St Pierre will now be facing Carlos Condit, as Diaz no showed a second set of press conferences.
Earlier in the week, Diaz made news by not getting on a plane for a press conference in his opponent’s hometown of Toronto. Yesterday he reportedly snuck out of the back door of his trainer Cesar Gracie’s house and no showed a second press conference in Las Vegas, leaving the UFC little choice but to cut him from the fight.
In a previous blog, I gave Diaz credit for being a fighter with a bad boy mentality, which is why this is befuddling to me. I thought it was the start of his mind games, but now that it cost him the fight, it is clear he went too far.
The sport has advanced a great deal, we all know that. The UFC hits these kids with a contract that is likely 30 pages. In the past, I know for a fact some sign without even reading it, and some certainly don’t understand the complicated rights of image and representation that the UFC asks.
But Diaz has been around the game for a while, and his representation, led by Cesar Gracie, are certainly no dummies.
The UFC contract places promotion of the event as one of the paramount responsibilities of the fighter. They are required to appear at certain events, and for a title fight, I’m sure the stipulations are very stringent. As Dana said, there was at least $15k in plane tickets lost on Diaz, not to mention the St Pierre tickets and tickets for the UFC’s entourage. The bottom line is if Dana wants to really play hardball, taking the fight away is just the first step. The contract Diaz signed means the UFC could sue Diaz for the loss and damages.
For now, White is unlikely to do that. One thing White gets credit for is he is a fighter friendly President, so Diaz will have a second chance I predict. But should Diaz continue with this odd behavior, he could incur a lot of problems.
And Diaz’ explanation on the internet, that he missed the ‘beauty pageant’? A little bizarre, because he had to know. White says he explained the responsibilities to him, and he comes from a professional camp that certainly showed the 30 pages of contract to a lawyer.
So now Diaz really has to answer the question – deep down inside, was he uncomfortable with the media machine, and he didnt want to play, or was he just scared of Georges St Pierre after all? He says he never ducked a fight, but I do bet that Jay Hieron thinks differently on that point as well.