White: "You can actually be cut"
We are now about two months away from UFC 158 and Nick Diaz has had no contact with UFC head honcho Dana White concerning his title fight with Georges St. Pierre. But honestly, is this really surprising?
In a recent interview Dana White was asked about the the highly anticipated fight:
"This is a fight that [Diaz] wanted, he really wanted this fight bad," said Dana White (via MiddleEasy.com). "And Georges St. Pierre called him out. He's getting it. I expect Diaz to be there. Nick Diaz does not return my calls or texts. Nothing. It's Nick Diaz. He doesn't have to call me, he doesn't have to text me; but, he needs to show up to the press conference."
This is just a case of Nick Diaz being Nick Diaz. Diaz of course was pulled from his original proposed bout with GSP at UFC 137 for missing his pre-fight promotional events. Then shortly after his loss to Carlos Condit he announced his "retirement" from the sport. And in May, while suspended from MMA for failing a drug test for marijuana, he no showed his highly anticipated BJJ super-fight with world champion Braulio Estima at the 2012 World Jiu-Jitsu Expo.
White also went on to elaborate that it doesn't matter who you are, the promotional aspect is a massive part of MMA:
"I would be blown away if he did it twice," White said. "It just would not be a good move. The thing about Nick Diaz is that Nick Diaz shows up for fights. Nick Diaz shows up and fights his ass off. He is not a big fan of the pre-fight promotion, but you have to do it. Whether you're Nick Diaz, Anderson Silva or whoever you are -- it's in your contract."
"You can actually be cut," he said. "We can cut you for that. How fun would the press conferences be if nobody fucking showed up but me? It wouldn't be too good. I've proved that you be punished if you don't show up for those things. You either won't fight the big fight that you were supposed to fight or you'll be cut."
In the world of combat sports, the pre-fight press conferences are a must. They are an absolutely essential tool for hyping a fight. Could you imagine if Muhammad Ali had never shown up to promote his fight with Sonny Liston? The trash talk and stare down before a big fight are just part of the allure of the the fight game.
No one is denying that the Stockton bad boy is one of the best fighters in the world. Inside the cage he is one of the most entertaining competitors out there. It's outside the cage where the concern lies. If Nick Diaz is to become the welterweight king in the world's biggest MMA promotion he will need to heed Dana White's words, or become just another fighter looking in.
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