Esther Lin for MMA Fighting
If you didn't catch today's (March 14, 2013) tension-filled UFC 158 pre-fight press conference, dig in below to catch a few of the highlights.
The hot topic of the day was Nick Diaz's no-show at yesterday's open workouts which prompted Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White to say if Nick didn't show at the press conference, it wouldn't be pretty.
Diaz -- as well as Georges St. Pierre, Carlos Condit, Nate Marquardt, Johny Hendricks and Jake Ellenberger -- made it to the presser as planned and it didn't take long to see the obvious tension surface.
Right off the jump, Diaz was asked by MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani why he failed to show for the open workouts.
Prior to the question, however, White looked into his crystal ball and informed Diaz what Ariel was going to ask him before the words came out of his mouth.
As Diaz gave his "catch up on sleep" explanation, Helwani continued with a follow-up asking what the reason was for getting into Canada late. Before Diaz could answer, White interrupted and what followed was a visibly irate Dana trying to put out the fire before it got out of control.
White: "Ariel, he's here. He's here now. You got any questions about the fight?"
Helwani: "Obviously this is a big story."
White: "Yeah? He's here."
Helwani: "We spoke about it and it's part of the story."
White: "It's part of what story?"
Helwani: "Of this fight. A lot of people are interested in watching this press conference to see if Nick was going to show up because he wasn't there yesterday."
White: "He's here today and I guarantee you he will be there tomorrow at the weigh-ins and I guarantee you he will be there Saturday."
Helwani: "No one is doubting that. I just wanted to get the reason why..."
White: "You wanted to antagonize him and you want to aggravate him and get him pissed off."
Helwani: "Absolutely not."
White: "It's totally the truth. That's why I knew what your question was. I called it right when you picked up the microphone. You've never even asked questions first. You usually hang back and wait. Ooh, you had to get that first question. You knew what you wanted to ask him."
Helwani: "God forbid."
White: "You wanted to piss him off and aggravate him. Do you have any questions about the fight?"
Helwani: "Not right now."
White: "Okay, next please."
While it's not anything new to see White aggravated at the line of questioning during a press conference from time to time, it was obvious the topic was a sensitive issue for White and Co. and he was having none of it.
The normally calm and cool St. Pierre was also visibly tense and just about had enough of Diaz's verbal attacks and his version of the hotel confrontation story:
"You really think I'm afraid of you? Do you really think, I'm afraid of you, man? Are you crazy in your head, man? I'm not scared of you! We'll see Saturday if I'm scared of you!"
Folks, I think were are in for one hell of a fight!
To catch all of today's press conference, including Nick's unhappiness with the event poster design because it portrays him as a "bad guy" and "GSP's" denial of steroid use while Carlos Condit chuckles at all the action, click here.