If you're off to find the hero of the day, look no further than Nick Diaz.
That's according to longtime coach and manager Cesar Gracie, who reminds the haters who constantly bring up the Stockton slugger's missed media appearances that without Diaz, UFC 137 would have been doomed.
Probably because "little star guy," who mixed martial arts fans may recognize by his birth name, Georges St. Pierre, blew out his knee in training camp, forcing the cancellation of his Oct. 29 headliner against Carlos Condit in Las Vegas.
The promotion had little choice but to elevate "Penn vs. Diaz" to main event status after "Rush" found himself on the injured reserves until early 2012.
Gracie tells Sherdog's "Rewind Show"" that Diaz, once again, delivered:
"You can't pull a guy off a card and then bring him back on: ‘Oh, he's not good enough to fight. We pulled him out of the card. He can't be in the main event. Yeah, here you go. Oh, wait a minute, guess what happened? Our little star guy over here, his knee hurts. Oh my God, we need Nick Diaz. Let's put him back in the main event.' Everybody wants to see that fight. He delivers. Well, little star guy didn't fight and Nick Diaz did, but they pulled a lot of money from Nick's purse because it wasn't structured for him to make as much if it wasn't GSP, even though he was the main event now and put the people in the seats. Nick Diaz saved that card. OK? That's what people need to remember when they talk about responsibility, is that he showed up, hamstring injury, knee injury, whatever. He had the same thing. He's the guy that showed up. He's the guy that fought his heart out, him and B.J. Penn. They put on a show. They're two great warriors. They saved the UFC that night."
After a close first round, Diaz pulled away from the Hawaiian "Prodigy" in rounds two and three of the UFC 137 headliner, battering and bruising the former division champion and forcing a premature declaration of retirement.
The emphatic win, along with a little post-fight call out, convinced UFC President Dana White that Diaz had done enough to warrant bumping Condit from his GSP title shot and giving it back to Diaz, who actually had it earlier this year before media-gate.
Alright Maniacs, let's get your thoughts on this. After an abysmal co-main event between Cheick Kongo and Matt Mitrione, do you agree that Diaz saved the UFC 137 pay-per-view? Or did he just save his 170-pound title shot?