by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
First he was going to fight Marcello Garcia at DREAM.2 on April 29; then it was Katsuya Inoue at DREAM.3 on May 11. Instead, Nick Diaz will continue on with his scheduled appearance on June 14 as part of EliteXC’s next Showtime telecast event in Hawaii. He will face Muhsin Corbbrey in Honolulu.
Diaz is under contract with EliteXC, which does allow its fighters to fight outside of the promotion, just not within a 45-day window prior to a scheduled bout inside the promotion.
When DREAM had planned to employ Diaz’s services on April 29 to face Marcello Garcia, there was no problem. He had EliteXC’s blessing. “We’re all for letting our fighters fight anywhere. We were originally allowing (Diaz to fight) April 29 against Marcello Garcia, but Marcello didn’t want it,” EliteXC vice president Jared Shaw told MMAWeekly.com.
When the fight on April 29 fell through, there seemed to have been a misunderstanding on the part of the owners of DREAM, Fight Entertainment Group, that Diaz would still be able to fight on the promotion’s next event.
According to Shaw, “I think it was a misunderstanding in the FEG family. We back this 100%. But at the same time, he’s scheduled to fight less than 45 days out on our show … It’s too close to the June 14 event. Per his contract, he wouldn’t be able to fight on June 14 (if he fought on May 11).”
The primary purpose for the 45-day window is to protect EliteXC’s investment in its events and the promotional effort that goes into marketing. And in Diaz, Shaw believes there is a lot to protect, especially if something were to happen to Diaz inside of the 45-day window that would preclude him from fighting on June 14.
“Nick’s the co-main event in Hawaii,” said Shaw. “He’s not just thrown on the card. If he wins and K.J. Noons wins, there’s a possible rematch right there.
“Obviously Eddie Alvarez has a lot to say about that the way that he’s been performing. He deserves a shot sometime this year if he keeps it up. But (Noons vs. Diaz 2), it’s a fight that Nick Diaz wants to prove himself. The fans want it. I’m sure K.J. Noons wants it, to prove that (him beating Diaz) wasn’t a fluke.”
Shaw expressed regret at not being able to allow Diaz to fight for DREAM. He knows that Diaz had a strong desire to fight in Japan.
“We apologized to Nick, but we’ll make it up to him. He’s an EliteXC fighter and a member of the family.”