As recently as last weekend, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White said he was, and perhaps still is, "really close" to pulling Nick Diaz out of the UFC 158 main event title fight opposite reigning welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
Read his threat to torpedo his own show here.
While Diaz has typically exhibited "strange and unorthodox" behavior, St. Pierre is confident his opponent will hold up his end of the bargain and make it to their pay-per-view (PPV) headliner, scheduled for March 16, 2013 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
The Vancouver Sun has it straight from the horse's mouth:
"I hope they don't take him out because I've trained hard. He'll show up. It would be inconceivable that he doesn't. He can make some money that will maybe last the rest of his life. Not showing up would be really stupid, and he's not stupid. He's strange and unorthodox. He has maybe had trouble dealing with stress in the past. But he's not an imbecile. We all have our problems. I don't know why he's had a problem with that. It's true he has problems with anxiety. When he's in front of a camera he's not the same. But that's up to him to deal with. I control what I can control, and that's to be ready for March 16. Seriously, I despise it. I like you guys (reporters), but I don't like doing this. I've been repeating the same thing 50 times every week. It's like a computer in my head. But it's part of my job, so he has to do the same. Otherwise, it's not fair."
It's also not fair to allegedly cost the UFC production crew $50,000, plus gas and tolls, to tour the city of Stockton.
Let's not forget that Diaz was already yanked from one St. Pierre title fight, back at UFC 137, and could conceivably be booted again. In fact, it's the primary reason the UFC 158 fight card (see it here) is top heavy with 170-pound fighters like Johny Hendricks, who would love nothing more that to steal the spot that was already his to begin with.
Might want to pick up the phone, brah.
Any fight fans out there agree with "Rush" and think the UFC 158 headliner is a lock? Or with Diaz in the main event, should we consider it "penciled in" until he actually gets into the cage on March 16?