Not Nick Diaz (pictured)!
Diaz was slated to fly from Sacramento International Airport Tuesday into Las Vegas. According to UFC president Dana White, the controversial fighter decided not to get on the plane. Make that planes, because Diaz elected not to board multiple flights yesterday.
Same goes for today where Diaz and UFC 183 opponent Anderson Silva were hosting media workouts on the casino floor of the MGM Grand. Silva rolled deep with what seemed to be a million entourage members.
Diaz was there in spirit … maybe.
White didn’t seem too concerned despite the fact the scrap is just three days away.
“Nick is being Nick. We don’t know where Nick is,” White stated on today’s episode of ‘The Jim Rome Show.’ “First of all, we have a show called ‘UFC Embedded,’ they showed up there Sunday to start filming him – couldn’t find him. We went through his management team and they said, ‘We’ll set up a team dinner and you guys can film at the dinner.’ None of them showed up at the team dinner, then nobody answered their phones when the guys started calling.
“So then yesterday Nick was supposed to land in Las Vegas at 2:20. He missed his flight. His management team called and said, ‘Book him another flight at 7:30.’ Not only did he miss the first one, he missed the second flight. His bags made it to Vegas and he never did.”
White and Co. have been here before with Diaz. Similar antics cost Diaz a title fight in 2011 when he skipped multiple pre-fight press conferences to promote a blockbuster bout with then-welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre.
However, with showtime just around the corner, the UFC is at Diaz’s mercy this time.
“The problem is this, it’s too late,” White said. “I already made the fight. We’re sitting here on Wednesday. There’s a lot of things he doesn’t show up for, but he always shows up for the fights, so I’m counting on him showing up.
“I did it to myself again. I made a fight with Nick Diaz, a big main event fight. When you get him in the office and you sit down, and he’s like, ‘Well, I feel like I haven’t been paid right. Pay me right.’ He’s being paid right for this fight. It doesn’t matter how much you pay him, he’s not going to … I did it to myself.”
White is right, there is next to no chance Diaz doesn’t show up for Friday’s weigh-ins and the fight the following night. The guy simply doesn’t like the “pageant” stuff that surrounds pushing pay-per-view events.
Ironically enough, Diaz’s latest disappearing act is doing far more to promote the card than if he was present. Now there’s this big mystery surrounding the show – WILL THE CO-STAR SHOW UP?
Fact of the matter is, only hardcore MMA fans are interested in paying $54.95 to watch two guys coming off two-fight losing skids and at least 13-month layoffs fight. To the average sports fan, there isn’t much intrigue and ticket sales as of today is proof:
It’s even Super Bowl weekend. A time when people flock to Las Vegas from across the country to legally gamble on the biggest football game of the year. Yet, there are sample seats still available for UFC 183.
So as far as the UFC is concerned, thank you Nick for being Nick. Ticket sales couldn’t be much worse.