For years now UFC president Dana White has talked about his reluctance to welcome Nick Diaz back into the UFC fold due to the controversial welterweight star’s refusal to “play the game.”
In the end White relented and signed Diaz to a multi-fight deal that opened up a major title fight with current champion Georges St.Pierre at UFC 137 in October.
Despite now being rewarded handsomely for his endevours and getting the fight that he’s been calling for it seems Diaz still isn’t ready to play the game though.
Both Diaz and St.Pierre were scheduled to do a media tour in Canada yesterday including a press conference to hype up the event as tickets prepare to go on sale tomorrow, but he simply didn’t bother to turn up.
Diaz manager Cesar Gracie later explained why in an interview with MMAJunkie.
“Nick is extremely happy about the opportunity to fight GSP, but old habits die hard,” Gracie stated. “Nick doesn’t really do the conference calls with a guy he’s fighting; he just never has. It’s just not in his psyche. He’s too busy training right now to answer any questions.”
The UFC have scheduled another pre-fight press conference in Las Vegas for later today so it’ll be interesting to see whether Diaz shows face on this occasion (according to Gracie he will).
If he doesn’t make an appearance then he’s going to sorely test the patience of the UFC’s top brass who are counting on big fights like this in the latter part of the year to pull them out of a lackluster period in terms of pay-per-view sales.
Really Diaz is playing with fire here. While they won’t pull him out of such a high profile fight, if he ends up losing – which is what many people think will happen – then his return to the organization could be short lived.