Following the news that Nick Diaz had been pulled from his UFC 137 title bout with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, Diaz’s longtime trainer and manager Cesar Gracie opened up about Diaz’s failure to fulfill the requirements of his UFC 137 fight contract.
“[Diaz] knew he was supposed to be at both of them, and didn’t get there,” Gracie told MMA Weekly after calling Dana White during Wednesday’s UFC 137 press conference. “I spoke to him yesterday, and it was all about getting him to Vegas yesterday, and the last time I heard from him he was on his way to the airport. That’s about it, I was pretty pissed off when I first heard about this, obviously for our team, and personally it’s something I’ve worked for, for so many years. Bringing this kid from Stockton when he was 16 and making him this world class fighter, and for him at this moment to do something this stupid, and not show up for something he was supposed to show up to, it’s very frustrating to me to say the least.”
While this is not the first time Diaz has not shown up to a press conference, the amount of work that went into arranging the bout made this press conference a major event for the UFC. Gracie stated that he spoke to UFC President about the matter and that he backs his decision saying:
“I did speak to Dana about all this, and I think he’s 100% correct in pulling him from this fight,” Gracie said. “Because I would have done the same thing, [because] he would have shown up and fought. There’s just certain things you have to do when you’re a man, like promote the fight, and I think this goes to teach everybody no one is greater than the sum of the UFC. You have to have respect for people and organizations, and I think Nick didn’t do that.”
Gracie said that Diaz is not answering his phone and is clearly upset with his star pupil, but will still be there for him since he is “like family” to the coach. Gracie believes the fighter has “social anxiety” and that he self-medicates with marijuana.
The bizarre incident is yet another chapter in the strange story of Nick Diaz, a fighter whose quality skills and talent have often been overshadowed by his erratic behavior. While UFC President Dana White did not explicitly say that Diaz would be released due to the incident, it appears the company may be leaning that way.