Diaz removed for UFC 137 main event, GSP vs. Condit on

nullI see your Nate Marquardt and raise you a Nick Diaz.

In one of the most bizarre situations in UFC history, Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz has been removed from the main event of UFC 137 against UFC champ, Georges St. Pierre, after going AWOL on the company and skipping two press conferences in two days.

After missing three different flights to head to Toronto for a press conference to promote UFC 137 on Tuesday, Diaz stopped communicating with Dana White and the UFC and was nowhere to be found on Wednesday, for another press conference to promote the event in Las Vegas.

White announced at the beginning of the presser that Diaz was removed from the fight and co-main eventer, Carlos Condit, will take on GSP for the title.

Diaz’ trainer, Cesar Gracie, expressed his frustration with his own fighter to MMAJunkie.com.

“I don’t blame Dana White on this at all,” Gracie today told MMAjunkie.com  “This is a professional company, and Nick is a 28-year-old man.”

“I’ve stuck up for Nick, even when he was wrong before,” Gracie said. “But he’s let a lot of people down. He’s let his team down. We all bought plane tickets to Vegas. We got hotel rooms booked, paid for. We’ve got all that, and Nick just decided not to go to something he’s supposed to. They’re paying him a lot of money, and in this economy where people don’t have money, he’s blessed. He should be thanking God every night how blessed he is.

“And instead, he’s not getting on a plane to go to Vegas. I’m extremely disappointed. He’s done a lot of stuff, but this is the worst of it. If I were him, I would be begging Dana White to get my job back and work your way up to a title shot at some point.”

“I’m not a psychologist,” he said. “I personally think there’s some kind of social anxiety happening here with Nick. Dana said, ‘You’ve got to play the game this much.’ And this isn’t even playing the game. This is about being a man and being responsible. And Nick has done neither in this situation.

“He’s a great jiu-jitsu guy. He’s a great fighter. I’m saying this because I care deeply about the guy. He’s one of my black belts. But in this situation, he is 100 percent wrong, and he got what he deserved.”

There are so many side stories to this happening, but clearly the main one is the odd behavior of Diaz. I sincerely hope he is of good physical and mental health, but he has a lot of explaining to do.

He has certainly blown the greatest opportunity of his pro career and may never step foot inside a Zuffa cage or octagon again.

Carlos Condit may be a tougher opponent for St. Pierre, but we will break down that fight another time.

Also lost in the mix is that B.J. Penn is now without an opponent, as he was set to face Condit at UFC 137 in the co-main event.

  

Diaz opting out of boxing match, is match with GSP set to happen?

nullNick Diaz made it pretty clear that he wants to get paid.

To get paid, the Strikeforce Welterweight Champion was set to enter the boxing ring or accept a champion vs. champion match against UFC welterweight kingpin, Georges St. Pierre.

On Monday, Diaz’ boxing manager, Don Chargin, said in a press release that Diaz will stick with MMA and not enter the boxing ring.

Diaz’ manager, Cesar Gracie, told MMAFighting.com’s Ray Hui that an opportunity has come along that Diaz couldn’t pass up.

“[Boxing] wasn’t just out of nowhere but at this point in time, there’s a certain chance that comes along once in a very long while and it only makes sense to stick to MMA as of right now,” Gracie said. “Nick’s been working really hard to get to this point in his MMA career and it wouldn’t make sense for us to make that transition into boxing right now. If this were a couple months ago or if certain fights had played out differently, we’d definitely be ready to go into boxing, but that’s not how it played out. Don Chargin is a great boxing promoter and he understood our dilemma completely and I thank him for that.”

After meeting with Dana White recently, it seems pretty obvious that Diaz may be getting a bout with St. Pierre in the future. That, or White offered Diaz a big pay increase. My guess is a little bit of both.

  

Strikeforce Recap: Cesar Gracie Camp Dominates

nullIt was a night for the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu camp on Saturday night as Nick Diaz and Gilbert Melendez defended their Strikeforce titles in impressive fashion.

Diaz beat hard-hitting Paul Daley to defend his Strikeforce Welterweight Championship in the night’s main event.

The two had a slug fest as each man was rocked at some point in the first round. Diaz landed more strikes, his punches didn’t seem to do the same damage as his opponent’s. Daley managed to sneak in a few powerful hooks that put Diaz on the ground. Diaz recovered, however, and eventually went on to pepper Daley with punches to the head and body. Daley eventually stumbled to the ground and Diaz followed up with a barrage of punches that forced a stoppage with just seconds remaining in the opening round.

In the co-main event, Diaz’ teammate, Gilbert Melendez had the top performance of the night, running through Tatsuya Kawajiri in 3:14 to defend his Strikeforce Lightweight Championship. Melendez was very accurate with his punches, landing clean shots to the jaw of Kawajiri. After a few minutes of that, Kawajiri hit the floor and Melendez jumped on him, landing a slew of vicious elbows that put an end to the fight and gave Melendez his fifth-straight win.

Saturday’s wins were a big statement for the Cesar Gracie team, which includes Nate Diaz and Jake Shields. Shields will contend for the UFC Welterweight Championship later this month and if he is able to upset Georges St. Pierre, that would give this camp three world champions. Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu has quietly become one of the top fight camps in all of MMA.

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