It's been 48 long hours, but the Nick Diaz camp has finally issued a statement that provides its side of the story about what happened at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo this past Saturday (May 12, 2012).
Diaz -- who has established an unreliable reputation for missing promised appearances thanks in large part to his recent rocky Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) stint -- failed to show up for his superfight against Braulio Estima at the event.
In fact, Estima waited on the mat, fruitlessly, while public announcements were being made for Diaz to report for duty.
He never appeared.
That's because, according to his trainer Cesar Gracie, Diaz had left. He had no choice after "disrespect and total lack of professionalism given him convinced him he was at a circus not a professional event." Gracie posted a detailed statement on GracieFighter.com that described the "facts" behind the situation, which included a Brazilian crony promoter who not only disrespected Diaz, but also his Gracie family members.
This crony, who is named Junior, also lied to Diaz about numerous things, including the weigh-in process, which Gracie explains was designed to give Estima an unfair advantage, as well as Estima's desire to enter mixed martial arts (MMA) someday soon. And, as Gracie tells it, to use the Diaz name as a springboard to further his MMA aspirations.
Something that was apparently a major concession prior to agreeing to the grappling match.
Check out a portion of Gracie's statement after the jump:
In early April I got the call from Junior asking what I thought of a Braulio Estima vs Nick Diaz matchup. I had heard of Braulio and knew he was a formidable jiu-jitsu practitioner. I was under the impression that Braulio competed in the close to 200lbs weight category. When I asked Junior he assured me that Braulio could weigh in as little as 175 lbs right before the match. I presented his information to Nick who accepted the matchup and seemed happy to go against the top BJJ player in the world at that weight. Nick started training for the match and I brought up several BJJ black belts to compliment his training. Looking through some of Estima’s youtube videos, it was soon discovered that he had in fact been planning on entering upon a career in mma. We wondered if the match with Diaz was a way to create a buzz around him and get him signed with a prominent organization. I called Junior who assured me Estima would not be fighting in mma and that he had spoken with him and been assured he had given up on the idea of ever fighting.
Junior reiterated, "Cesar I spoke with Braulio, the guy is in his 30′s, he has a family and doesn’t want to live that type of life at this stage in his life…etc" I repeated this info to Nick. A week or so later it was all over the Internet that Braulio had joined the "Blackzillians" and was training for an mma fight. We had been lied to. Furthermore it was evident that Nick’s sole condition that he not go against a wanna be mma guy was violated and this was in fact an attempt by Braulio to ignite an mma career. Nick was to have been accurately portrayed as a fighter returning to his BJJ roots. He had even agreed to give his entire purse to charity; St Jude’s Children’s Hospital for kids with cancer. If you know the story of Ralph Gracie’s son you would understand why this charity was chosen.
Nick arrives in Long Beach to the news that there will be no weigh ins that night. As a professional with over 30 fights this was the final straw. The disrespect and total lack of professionalism given him convinced him he was at a circus not a professional event. At 3:20 in the morning I received a text from Junior that Braulio would in fact make the 180lbs weight class at 10:00AM. With no other option available I said fine I’ll check with Nick in the morning. At 10:00AM Braulio did weigh in at 180lbs but by that time Nick had already left.... As a Brazilian I love Brazil but not all things Brazilian. In the last decade I have witnessed Brazilian cronies running the IBJJF and making it impossible for Americans to get a fair shake when competing against their Brazilian countrymen. These cronies have instituted rules to where if you miss weight by even half a pound you are disqualified and not refunded your entry fee. They gladly keep your money and treat you like crap in your country because they can. One of these cronies (Junior) decided to bend all the rules for Braulio Estima and treat Nick Diaz like crap. Sorry that didn’t work out here.
For more on the Nick Diaz vs. Braulio Estima fallout be sure to click here and get up to speed. And to hear UFC President Dana White's reaction to Diaz's no-show news click here.