In a new interview Nick Diaz manager Cesar Gracie has a lot of interesting things to say about his fighter’s new match-up with BJ Penn at UFC 137.
Speaking to middleeasy.com Gracie states his belief that despite Penn Vs Diaz being billed as the co-main event, it should in fact be the headline attraction as far as fan interest goes.
“No-one cares about the Condit fight [with GSP]. And i’m not disrespecting any of those two guys, it’s just that there’s no story there. These guys, what, they talk to each other, they’re buddies, they used to train together or something, you know? It’s like, OK, that’s great, who cares? Where’s the story? There’s no story.
“So now the main event is no longer that fight [in my opinion]. Now the main event is Nick Vs BJ.”
Gracie also stated his belief that Penn is in fact a tougher test for Diaz than GSP would have been.
“Much tougher. I mean [Penn] is the better fighter of the two. Georges St.Pierre is the bigger fighter of the two, he can beat people on being bigger or whatever, but this is the better fighter of the two. He’s more technical, he’s got a better ground game, he’s got a better stand-up game.”
So what does Diaz himself think of his new fight? According to Gracie the fact that Diaz actually respects Penn makes it a less than desirable match-up for him.
“He wants to fight GSP because he wants to beat that guy up. BJ is a different story. It’s like he’s got more of a respect for BJ. BJ Penn is not a juicehead, BJ Penn actually tries technique in a fight, you know what I’m saying? So in that sense, you know, they’ve hung out together, they’ve trained together, so it’s kind of a tough fight in that sense, but it is what it is.”
Other interesting notes from Gracie’s interview:
– Gracie says rumors that he would cut Diaz from his fight team were untrue and that they are like family.
– He believes that Diaz should have been fined rather than cut from his fight with GSP as the decision punished the fans more than anything.
– According to Gracie the media tour this week was arranged at short notice and that may be one reason why Diaz was unhappy and ultimately didn’t show up.
– Despite all that’s went down Gracie believes he still has a good relationship with Dana White.
– Gracie belives Diaz will turn up to media events from now on when required, but doesn’t believe there will be so many now that he’s not starring in the main event.
Listen to the full interview below.