Ever since I was a little kid, I gravitated to those that bucked authority and rebelled against the establishment.
I idolized Axl Rose and his penchant for starting city-wide riots. Eventually, I discovered punk rock and immersed myself in an entire subculture seemingly devoted to going against the grain.
So the first time I saw a young, brash kid from Stockton, California step inside the Octagon at UFC 47: "Meltdown," I became an instant fan. This kid, billed as a Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) expert was taking on knockout artist Robbie Lawler.
He didn't take Lawler down; he didn't even try. He stood in front of his heavy-handed opponent and jawed at him. He raised his arms up or kept his fists at his waist. He showed Lawler absolutely no respect. At least not until after he knocked him out.
I love Nick Diaz. I love that guy. I love his style of fighting, I love his devil-may-care attitude, I love the enormous chip on his shoulder.
He's probably my favorite fighter.
But I am sick to freaking death of his nonsense.
Diaz no-showed a press conference in Toronto yesterday (September 6) and one in Las Vegas today. He told UFC head honcho Dana White that he missed his flight to the Great White North but assured White that he would see him in Sin City to help promote the most anticipated title defense for "Rush" in over two years.
When the bad boy from Stockton didn't show up, his dreams of UFC gold evaporated as quickly as ice cream on a hot summer day in California.
It wouldn't be as irritating if this was the first time Diaz has pulled this kind of stunt. But Diaz has a history of this kind reckless, self-defeating behavior. During his first stint with the UFC, he was involved in a hospital brawl with his opponent in the Octagon earlier in the evening, Joe Riggs.
After he and the UFC parted ways, he took on Takanori Gomi in Pride Fighting Championships' second US show and submitted the Japanese ace in one of the best fights in the sport's history. The decision was reversed after an obscene amount of THC -- the active chemical in marijuana -- was found in Diaz's system during the fight.
The next item on his rap sheet is a brawl with K.J. Noons and his camp during an EliteXC event in Hawaii. Of course, it wouldn't be the last post-fight brawl that Diaz was involved in. It has only been a little over a year that the infamous "Nashville Brawl" got Strikeforce all but banned from CBS.
And this isn't even the first time his negligence has cancelled a fight. When he was slated to take on Jay Heiron at Strikeforce: "Carano vs. Cyborg," Diaz wasn't licensed for the bout because he never bothered to show up for his pre-fight drug test.
I don't care about press conferences, I don't care about media tours. MMANation's Jonathan Snowden tweeted that he watches "UFC for the fights, not for the press conferences." I'm pretty sure the same could be said for every single fight fan but Dana White is right when he says fighters have to play the game.
Everyone and their mom knows that -- for the most part -- NFL football is played on Sunday. You don't need coaches and players going on morning radio and giving interviews to hype that. The UFC, however, does need that. The sport is still growing.
Every radio spot, every newspaper interview is a shot at getting one more fan. And when one half of one of the biggest main events of the year isn't willing to do his part, it hurts the bottom line.
If Diaz doesn't like doing press tours then he shouldn't be fighting. It's as simple as that. And when he does take fights with no intention of fulfilling his duties outside of the cage, it's unfair to his opponent, his employers and worse yet, the fans.
There's speculation -- when considering Diaz's affinity for marijuana -- that an anxiety disorder might be to blame for this behavior. If that's the case, I hope Nick gets the help he needs. And while it doesn't excuse this, it can certainly help explain it.
Whatever the case, he needs to grow up; by accepting that a fighter has duties in and outside the cage or by getting the medical attention he needs.
For someone who never appeared to enjoy being screwed with, Diaz has done an awfully good job at screwing himself.