Time heals all wounds -- even if it's just a couple of weeks.
UFC President Dana White is ready to work with Nick Diaz again, only this time he undertsands that he has to "handle him different than every other guy in the UFC."
The former Strikeforce welterweight champion, who was pulled from his main event fight opposite Georges St. Pierre earlier this month, has been re-inserted into the UFC 137 line up to take on B.J. Penn at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Oct. 29, 2011.
Diaz no-showed several mandatory press events to promote his former clash with the Canadian. His absence, as well as inability to communicate his whereabouts -- even to his right-hand man and trusted trainer, Cesar Gracie -- compelled White to switch gears.
Just 24 hours removed from his public spanking, Diaz was "punished" with a co main event slot against "The Prodigy," sending Carlos Condit into the headliner. It was certainly a far cry from being released, which was an option that White had to consider based on Diaz's bizarre behavior.
Now White (via ESPN.com) has come to the conclusion that they can "work together," he just has to find a different way to do it.
"I believe, and maybe I'm a little goofy, that I have a good rapport with this kid and we can work together. Here's the thing about Nick Diaz -- he's just a different guy. I'm going to have to handle him different than I do every other guy in the UFC. But that's cool. I can do that. I can figure this out where I can work with Nick and we can make this happen. It's very clear why he missed (the news conferences). He didn't want to go. He's fought in smaller organizations where the inmates run the asylum. When you come over here, it's a whole other ballgame. You don't run the show. I do."
Perhaps Diaz got the message, grew up or offered another sideways apology. On the other hand, perhaps White feels he may have overreacted after finally speaking with the Stockton slugger.
Time will tell.
UFC 137 features a re-worked main event between St. Pierre and Condit. In addition to the Penn-Diaz co-featured fight of the night, two heavyweight clashes -- Roy Nelson vs. Mirko Filipovic and Cheick Kongo vs. Matt Mitrione -- are also scheduled for the main card pay-per-view (PPV).
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