Ultimate Fighting Championship will hold a public press conference today (March 14, 2013) at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in advance UFC 158: "St. Pierre vs. Diaz," which is scheduled to take place this Saturday night (March 16) at the same location.
The press conference will begin at 1 p.m. ET. Scheduled to attend will be UFC president Dana White and Tom Wright, Director of UFC Operations: Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the headlining fighters of the evening, Georges St. Pierre, Nick Diaz, Johny Hendricks, Carlos Condit, Nate Marquardt and Jake Ellenberger.
Yes, Diaz is expected to be in the building (or else).
St. Pierre is the UFC Welterweight champion who has successfully defended his current 170-pound title seven times. He is also ranked No. 3 in the top "pound-for-pound" lists of MMA fighters. On the opposite side of the podium will be the challenger to his title, Diaz, the former Strikeforce welterweight champion who vacated his belt to sign with the UFC and challenge St. Pierre back in Oct. 2011.
That initial fight never came to fruition, however, for numerous reasons, most of which can be attributed to Diaz and his unwillingness to honor his promotional responsibilities. Diaz has won 11 of his last 12 fights, most recently losing to Carlos Condit at UFC 143 in Feb. 2012.
That hasn't exactly changed this time around as Diaz skipped out on a pair of interviews for the popular "Countdown" series, costing UFC a pretty penny. He also blew off yesterday's open media workout, which drew the ire of the UFC President.
There's no telling which Diaz will show up, the respectful Stocktonian from the initial press conference this past January, or the feisty Diaz who believes he doesn't get the respect he deserves and wants to take it from the champion. Hell, we don't even know if Diaz is going to show up.
We'll have complete updates of the UFC 158 press conference below, as well as a video player that will stream the entire event in real-time.
Brian Hemminger here. The press conference is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET.
Dana White: We're proud to have extended our relationship with Harley Davidson. We'll be putting an event on in Harley's hometown, Milwaukee.
Nick Diaz: It was either I miss yesterday's open workout or I miss this. I needed to catch up on sleep and I think it outweighed the repurcussions. I'm sorry for the fans and I like to put on a show for the fans but I also want to put a show on for the fans on Saturday night.
Nick Diaz: I'm sure he was upset. I would have liked to make it.
Dana White: He's here today, I guarantee he'll be here tomorrow at the weigh-ins and I guarantee he'll be at the fight on Saturday night.
Dana White: The "come to Jesus" means, I've been saying to Nick Diaz forever, if he would just play the game "this much." When you do all this press stuff, I did an hour and a half radio tour. It's the same questions over and over again, but you're talking to people in different areas who haven't heard the answers yet.
Nick Diaz: I would like to put off the best image I could if I were given the opportunity. To be honest with you, a lot of times, they're pretty much making me out to be the evil villain. Georges fits the description as the good guy. Look at my poster. No offense, but you guys have plenty of time to switch the poster. That picture of me is from years ago. Can I get one buttered up photo-shopped picture in a magazine? I've had plenty of ugly posters, but I know they can do better by me. There's one thing for sure, I will always fight for my dignity. People are gonna have to make due with that and UFC is going to have to make due with that if they want to see me fight.
Nick Diaz: Yeah, sure. They like to make me look like the bad guy. Georges likes to say I remind of a bully that picked on him growing up. How many times have you had a gun to your head, Georges? How many of your best friends have been shot through the chest with a 45 or how many of your best friends have been stomped, put to sleep in a coma? How many people put gum in your hair growing up. I hate everyone pulling the bully card. Everyone hates bullies. If it wasn't for what I went through, who knows if I would have made it in life. Who knows if I'd b here today. I don't go and point the finger and decide that people are the bully who tortured me as a child. I don't want to see anybody hurt. I don't believe anyone out here working towards greatness deserves to be beat down, smashed in. The fans out like violence. People like violence. It's the funniest thing but I like to think I'm not a violent person. I'm a martial artist.
Georges St. Pierre: I'm sure my past doesn't compare to Nick. I don't know why we're talking about this now. I believe Nick Diaz is the best guy and that's why I want to fight him.
Nick Diaz: Yeah, but you told the fans I deserve to be beat down.
Dana White: All the stuff that leads up to this thing, all the selling of wolf tickets, all the stuff that leads up to this fight, these two will fight on Saturday night. Nick Diaz has been around for a long time. All the stuff that Nick Diaz says and does, when he steps into the cage, he fights. We're almost there, it's almost over and these two will fight on Saturday.
Nick Diaz: The fans like to say I don't deserve to be here, I haven't beat no top fighters. I was out there. I was fighting all the hitters. I'm the one risking brain damage, getting smashed out. These guys come out and try to wrestle you out. You take these punches and start quitting early. I say Jake Shields and Carlos won the fight. The way the scoring works, the way it's geared towards wrestling. I don't think it's right for martial arts. I think it nullifies the action. If you want to hold people and elbow, I'm gonna have to create the same amount of space on you for the guy to get back to his feet. People should be called for stalling. They should be point deducted for stalling. The ref should be calling for action. They'd love to ignore it and not talk about. The strong guy on steroids would like to ignore it and he wants to get the takedown and win the round. I'd love a 10 minute round and see who would work through a 10 minute round.
Nick Diaz: Okay, he's coming out of an elevator or something and I stand my ground. He was trying to walk through me and I'm not gonna let him walk through me. I'm gonna stand there with a hard look on his face and he was trying to get by.
Georges St. Pierre: You really think I'm scared of you? You are crazy in the head. We'll see Saturday night if I'm scared of you.
Nick Diaz: I don't believe you're intimidated.
Georges St. Pierre: I didn't say anything bad. I'm not on steroids.
Nick Diaz: We'll see
Dana White: The guy who wins on Saturday between Hendricks and Condit will be number one contender.
Dana White: To say that marijuana is a performance enhancing drug, I think that's ridiculous. They say it's a painkiller. But here's the thing, it's illegal. If you get busted for doing it, you're in trouble and you're gonna lose money.
Nick Diaz: As an opponent, I've been saying Georges' name a long time because he's the best fighter in the world. That's a compliment. I'm out there risking my life. Georges St. Pierre started after me as far as I'm concerned. I've had more fights. I've been in the UFC first. I think it's a coincidence I lost all those fights. I beat everyone up and lost all the fights.
Johny Hendricks: He did what he had to do to get the fight. If I overlook Carlos Condit, he'll beat my ass. If I get a win, he'll campaign for something else. That's what I was hoping for. One more fight to get better and also to face another top opponent. If I get a win over Condit, that's awesome.
Georges St. Pierre: I only focus on things I do control. I focus on myself and competing on Saturday night. It's not fun to be here. I'm cutting weight, we're all cutting weight and we have to ask the same question over again. It's getting old but it's all going to be over soon.
Georges St. Pierre: This is just a distraction from the fight.
Nick Diaz: I'm sorry if I don't pass the test. I think it should work out. I've passed plenty of them before unless they weren't testing me. I wonder how much they test people around here.
Nick Diaz: I think a lot more people might hear about this topic. I'm a no-show again and again. It's hard for me to show up in the middle of training, go back and forth putting in a good image and coming off like a madman. That press conference that I had last time, nobody considered what I was going through. I had a lot of issues with my team. I didn't even have my passport. I couldn't have gone to Montreal. I apologize that I'm a no-show. I never walked away from any fights that were less than two people. (laughs)