As Yogi Berra unforgettably said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” Tell me if you’ve heard this before: Nick Diaz (Pictured) finally scores a title fight against reigning UFC welterweight king Georges St-Pierre. Mr. 209 proceeds to skip multiple pre-fight promotional activities that jeopardizes the scrap.
Last weekend, UFC President Dana White revealed Diaz ditched three interviews for the UFC’s ‘Countdown’ show, which cost the company “a [expletive] load of money” because the entire film crew was twiddling their thumbs for two weeks in Diaz’s hometown.
While Diaz and his representatives claimed Diaz did everything he was supposed to do, all the while having manager Cesar Gracie take to Twitter to request the UFC to upgrade Diaz’s plane ticket from business to first-class, White is sticking firmly to his story.
“He did not [show up] – neither did his brother Nate, and we spent over $50,000 in production costs and guys cruising around Stockton, California and not interviewing people,” White said following Saturday’s UFC 157 post-fight press conference. “It’s not funny. We’re very cool and very lenient in a lot of ways. I mean, look at this company. Look how we are. We let a lot of things fly, but that’s just absolute [BS].
“Costs us over 50 grand already, then your manager has the balls to go on Twitter and asks to upgrade [plane] tickets.”
Oh, the irony with the airfare… When Diaz skipped back-to-back press conferences in Canada to promote UFC 137, White claimed Diaz cost the company over $15,000 in unused plane tickets. The controversial grappler was subsequently pulled from the title bout against St-Pierre because of his unwillingness “to play the game” of promoting pay-per-view broadcasts.
Although White hasn’t reached the point where he would yank Diaz again, he’s inching closer with every missed interview.
“I hope we don’t come to that,” White said of pulling Diaz (again). “Can you tell I’m close? I’m close, man. I’m really close. I don’t want to be. I don’t want to do this. It sucks.
“We’ve treated Nate and Nick with respect. Anytime they come in, they want to negotiate their contracts, we do the things, we’re good to everybody. At least give us the respect to show up and not blow 50 grand on not showing up for interviews you’re supposed to do.
“All the fans are like, ‘Shut up, Dana. Just let Nick fight.’ You shut up, idiots. This is how it works. This is the job. This is what we do. Go to your [expletive] job and tell your boss, ‘Yeah, I don’t want to do this or do that.’ That’s not how it works. It’s part of the job. I’ve shown the Diaz brothers a ton of respect, they can show some respect back.”
White ended his extended rant by claiming everything has been smoothed over with Diaz’s representatives, and that Nick did skip three Countdown interviews but managed to finally make the fourth one. They are still waiting on Nate, which should be completed shortly.
UFC 158 takes place March 16th inside Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. For now, Diaz challenges St-Pierre for his crown in the show’s featured contest. He’ll get there with the common folk in business class, unless he decides to pay for the upgrade himself.