Diaz removed from UFC 137 main event after press tour no-show
Nick Diaz, who was scheduled to face Georges St-Pierre at UFC 137 in October for St-Pierre’s welterweight championship, has been removed from the bout after failing to show up for a pre-scheduled press tour.
Taking his place will be Carlos Condit, who was scheduled to face B.J. Penn in the co-main of the same event.
Diaz didn’t show up for the first leg of the press tour on Tuesday in Toronto. Dana White spoke with Diaz, who assured him that he would make the trip if the UFC booked him another flight. After missing the second flight, the company booked him on a third flight, which he also missed.
After failing to show up for yet another flight to Las Vegas on Wednesday morning for today’s UFC 137 press conference, the decision was made to remove him from the fight. White called Condit to offer him the title shot, and Condit broke down crying. The new challenger immediately jumped on a plane to head to Las Vegas to complete the deal and meet the press.
“I’ve had my reservations about Nick Diaz for a long time," White said during a press conference at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. "You've heard me use the term 'play the game.' All I asked him for was this much. When he signed, I said, 'Let me tell you what kid, add up all the purses of you career, this will be biggest fight of your life.' You have the opportunity to fight GSP and win the welterweight title. But I need you to do certain things."
St-Pierre said he couldn’t believe Diaz would blow the opportunity of a lifetime in the manner he did.
"I just don't understand why someone doesn't show up to an opportunity like this," St. Pierre said. "I just can't believe it. It's amazing. It's crazy."
White took a phone call from Diaz trainer Cesar Gracie in the middle of the press conference. Gracie apologized for Diaz’s behavior and told White that he couldn’t find the former Strikeforce champion. Diaz had been staying at Gracie’s house, but snuck out and hasn’t been seen since. Even Nick’s brother Nate could offer to help when trying to locate him.
White also said that the company had spent $15,000 on unused plane tickets in trying to get Diaz to Canada and Las Vegas. While he wouldn’t come right out and say that Diaz had been cut from his contract, he did acknowledge it as a distinct possibility.
St-Pierre said that, in his mind, Condit was a much tougher opponent than Diaz.
"I do believe Carlos Condit is more dangerous than Nick Diaz," he said. "If they fought, I would put my money on Carlos Condit. For me it's a bigger challenge."
Stay tuned to HeavyMMA for exclusive video interviews with Dana White and Georges St-Pierre later this afternoon.