Believe it or not controversial welterweight star Nick Diaz is at it again – he failed to turn up to today’s UFC 137 media conference call until 45 minutes into it despite the fact that yesterday his bout with BJ Penn was promoted to main event status.
At one stage this seemed like a mirror-image of his previous no-show at a UFC 137 press conference back in early September which resulted in a furious Dana White removing him from his title fight with Georges St.Pierre which was set to headline the show.
After that Diaz future in the promotion appeared to be in doubt despite the fact that he had only just signed a deal to return to the UFC, but he was White relented and offered to keep him on the card in the co-main event slot fighting Penn.
Of course that reprieve came on the condition that Diaz turn up to his media engagements from now on, with the UFC president stating that he didn’t need to say anything, but he did have to show up.
Nevertheless, today he wasn’t present again when the presser went live, but though details are still somewhat sketchy at this stage, according to Dana White it may in fact have been the UFC’s fault this time around that Diaz didn’t attend.
“I’m hearing UFC dropped the ball on the Nick Diaz no show today!! SUCKS” White, who also wasn’t on the call due to being in meetings for next month’s ‘UFC On FOX’ show, wrote on Twitter just moments ago.
Luckily for all concerned Diaz did eventually turn up after both his manager Cesar Gracie and a couple of his friends went hunting for him and managed to get him on the call before it ended.
“I didn’t even know about a call. No one called me in the last week,” Diaz stated after finally picking up the phone.
It seems strange that after last month’s debacle that the UFC didn’t do everything to ensure that Diaz was on the call, and you have to wonder whether the UFC taking the blame for this latest blip on the radar was just a way to paper over the cracks.
They are certainly in a tough spot here if this was purely Diaz fault as the event now hinges on his fight with Penn fight after the collapse of the original main event between GSP and Carlos Condit yesterday.
If they were to pull Diaz out of the bout one of the biggest UFC events of the year would be left in tatters and with less than two weeks until fight night it would be impossible to find a worthy replacement for it.
Still, if nothing else today’s rollercoaster conference call has reinvigorated interest in the Diaz story, with his name trending on Twitter around the world, and that’s good news for the promotion who are still hoping to salvage a solid PPV buyrate from this troubled event.
(Story updated to reflect the fact that Diaz did eventually appear)