As far as their stars relationship with the media goes the UFC are currently facing a rocky road as they move closer to October 29th’s UFC 137 event.
Last week Nick Diaz was pulled from his title fight at UFC 137 with GSP after failing to attend number of media engagements, with the fighter stating that he just wanted to fight.
At the press conference to announce that decision St.Pierre then admitted to reporters that as far as media goes, “I not only hate it, but despise doing it.”
Now Diaz’ new opponent BJ Penn has also publicly criticized the media build-up to the event – focusing specifically on the UFC’s own in-house team who produce the ‘Countdown To UFC’ series.
Describing the filming of the UFC 137 Countdown show as “crazy,” in a new video blog the former UFC champion at both 155lbs and 170lbs went on to say, “One thing that was a trip about that whole thing was that they…I got a lot of respect for [Nick] Diaz, I’ve trained with him before, that whole thing…and they forced me to say at the end of the whole thing they forced me to say…’you gotta say Nick Diaz name, you know? You gotta say his name. Say you’re going to beat Nick Diaz.”
Penn goes on to say that he didn’t feel comfortable with that, but did what they asked. He now hopes that it doesn’t cause any animosity between himself and Diaz as he doesn’t want to go down that road with him.
So clearly the UFC are having more than a few headaches dealing with their fighters in the lead-up to this show. Nevertheless, it may well be that “all publicity is good publicity” as far as the promotion goes though as there’s no doubt that there’s plenty of buzz about UFC 137 and it may well go on to become one of their biggest pay-per-views of the year.