Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The UFC President recently revealed that his most erratic and unpredictable fighter, Nick Diaz, still does not respond when he tries to reach him to talk about business.
Leave it to Nick Diaz to remain exactly the same, even after getting pulled from the UFC 137 main event in 2011 and then following it up with a failed drug test (marijuana metabolites) at UFC 143 in early 2012.
Sandwiched between was a knee-jerk mixed martial arts (MMA) "retirement" and another high-profile "no show" at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo, standing up Braulio Estima for their proposed "super fight" and, of course, all the fans who paid to watch him not compete.
Most humans would offer an apology or at least do a little something to try and win back public support, or seemingly at a minimum, kiss a little boss butt to try and get out of his dog house sooner rather than later.
Diaz, however, is unlike most humans.
And in a convoluted, odd and backward kind of way, it has all worked out in his favor -- the Stockton, Calif., scrapper was rewarded for his behavior with a Welterweight title shot upon his return from suspension opposite 170-pound kingpin, George St. Pierre, at UFC 158 on March 16, 2013, at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Pretty impressive for a guy who doesn't even pretend to be anyone other than himself even behind-the-scenes when no one is watching despite the drama he has sparked.
"This is a fight that [Diaz] wanted, he really wanted this fight bad," said Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White (via MiddleEasy.com). "And Georges St. Pierre called him out. He's getting it. I expect Diaz to be there. Nick Diaz does not return my calls or texts. Nothing. It's Nick Diaz. He doesn't have to call me, he doesn't have to text me; but, he needs to show up to the press conference."
Not "showing up" is what got Diaz kicked out of his first fight with "Rush" and demoted to co-main event status opposite B.J. Penn, which was later promoted to the main event when St. Pierre got injured. For more on that entire fiasco, as well as Diaz's wild ride over the past 18 months, click here and here.
"I would be blown away if he did it twice," White said. "It just would not be a good move. The thing about Nick Diaz is that Nick Diaz shows up for fights. Nick Diaz shows up and fights his ass off. He is not a big fan of the pre-fight promotion, but you have to do it. Whether you're Nick Diaz, Anderson Silva or whoever you are -- it's in your contract."
Rest assured, Diaz is well aware of his contractual public relations obligations this time around. In fact, he pays a guy $100,000 to tell him "what he's supposed to do and what he's not supposed to do." And I'm pretty sure that guy -- or his replacement -- will now ensure that the UFC 158 media schedule is in front of Diaz early and often.
Whether or not Diaz adheres to it by the letter is an entirely different story. However, if he doesn't, White didn't mince words about what might -- and likely would -- happen.
"You can actually be cut," he said. "We can cut you for that. How fun would the press conferences be if nobody fucking showed up but me? It wouldn't be too good. I've proved that you be punished if you don't show up for those things. You either won't fight the big fight that you were supposed to fight or you'll be cut."
Seriously doubt that Diaz is scared of a pink slip, but with so many strikes to date, if he screws up this opportunity it wouldn't be a stretch to think it would be his last.