The two sides were at an impasse just a couple of weeks ago when Diaz no-showed a press conference just a day after missing another press junket, and so UFC President Dana White yanked him from the main event fight against Georges St-Pierre, and replaced him with Carlos Condit.
Just a few days after that, White decided to give Diaz another shot, this time in the co-main event on the card against B.J. Penn. White finally had the chance to catch up with Diaz and have a long conversation with the enigmatic fighter, and now knows how he has to work with him, and that’s something they can definitely do.
“I talked to Nick two days ago on the phone for an hour. Here’s the thing with Nick Diaz, in which I’m not used to but I’m going to get used to it, he’s just a different guy. I’m going to have to handle him and deal with him differently than I do every other guy in the UFC. I’m cool with that,” White told MMAWeekly.com.
“Just have to handle him differently. I don’t have to call Matt Hughes every three days, I don’t have to call Rampage every three days, I don’t have to talk to these guys, but I do with Nick. That’s cool, I can do that.”
Looking back at the decision he had to make for the good of UFC 137, White admits that pulling Diaz wasn’t an easy decision, but something had to be done.
“It’s unfortunate what I had to do in that situation, but I had to do it,” White stated. “10 years, 1,600 fights, no one has ever not shown up for a press conference. It would be one thing if there was something wrong, like with the Jake Shields situation.”
Shields, who is Diaz’s long time teammate, lost his father Jack just weeks prior to his scheduled fight at UFC Fight Night 25, but opted to remain in his scheduled fight against Jake Ellenberger.
It is a completely different situation with Diaz, who just missed the press conference and showed little regard for his actions other than a YouTube video he put out later that same day.
White believes however he can work with Diaz, and hasn’t given up on giving the former Strikeforce welterweight champion another shot at UFC gold if things work out that way.
“I can figure this thing out where I can work with Nick Diaz, and we can make this happen,” White stated.
“We’ll see, I’d like to do that fight if they both win, I’d like to do that fight. We’ll see what happens.”
Diaz will get his chance to potentially earn that shot at St-Pierre when he faces former UFC welterweight champion B.J. Penn in October.