Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White ruffled some feathers yesterday (March 14, 2013) when he said in a media scrum (watch it here) following the UFC 158: "St. Pierre vs. Diaz" pre-fight press conference that famed trained Cesar Gracie is a part of the problem when it comes to having Nick Diaz meet media obligations.
Gracie, however, seems to disagree, and says not just Nick, but both of the Diaz brothers are their own men and he has no final say on what either man should or should not do.
Firstly, here's what White had to say to the media about Gracie:
"I think Cesar Gracie is a huge part of the problem, to be honest with you ... Obviously, as far as a trainer goes, Cesar Gracie must be a damn good trainer, because look at the camp that he's created. But Cesar Gracie likes to play bullshit games that drive me crazy. But as far as trainer, he's their trainer that's their guy and obviously he's a good one or [the Diaz brothers] wouldn't be where they are today. Do I think it's an act? No, I think Cesar's a dick, that's what I think. I think Cesar does stuff that's bullshit. I don't think it's an act or a shtick or anything else."
It didn't take long for the head of Team Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to reply to White's harsh statements, as on Friday (March 15, 2013) Gracie spoke with Stephanie "Crooklyn" Daniels of Bloody Elbow (read the complete interview here) and gave a response regarding his relationship with Diaz brothers and how he influences them.
"To address the issue about me being part of the problem, the thing he has to understand, and I think, for the most part, he does understand, that the Diaz' are gonna do what they're gonna do. I can't make them do something different. I will tell them what they need to do, I'll say what Dana wants them to do, but as far as making grown men do something that they don't want to do, it's very difficult, and there's nothing I can actually do about that. I think Dana knows that, so I don't really understand why he's trying to put a spin on it, saying I'm part of the problem, as if I'm the one telling them not to do something, which is absolutely ridiculous, and the farthest thing from the truth."
Could this be the beginning of a heated saga between White and Gracie? It's possible, but it seems like the latter did his best to take the high road after being on the wrong end of some pretty brutal comments.
What did you think of Gracie's response? Let us know in the comments section below.