Road Doesn’t Get Any Easier for Nick Diaz; He Draws BJ Penn at UFC 137

September 8, 2011
54 Comments

Just 24 hours after Nick Diaz hit the skids, forcing UFC president Dana White to pull him from the UFC 137 main event with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, the former Strikeforce welterweight champion is back on the fight card.

He’s still out of the title opportunity, but Diaz will remain on the card, basically swapping opponents with Carlos Condit. He’ll now face former lightweight and welterweight champion BJ Penn in the co-main event.

It’s been an odd turn of events over the past couple of days, with Diaz blowing off enough of the PR responsibilities of a main eventer to get him pulled from the fight. Condit, who was slated to fight Penn on the same fight card, quickly agreed to step into the title bout, leaving White to find an opponent for Penn.

He did so rather quickly.

“Dana just offered me a deal I can’t refuse. Pretty sure I’m still fighting on Oct. 29th,” Penn teased Thursday afternoon on Twitter. And a few short hours later, it was a done deal.

“This is crazy, but here we go again!” tweeted White. “You wanted it, so you got it. Penn vs Diaz (Oct 29th) in Vegas.”

So the revamped card will put Georges St-Pierre vs. Carlos Condit in top billing, while Diaz gets demoted down to a just-as-tough fight in the co-main event against Penn.

The question that immediately pops to mind is “Why take the risk of putting Diaz in with Penn when he already sabotaged his fight with St-Pierre?” Simple, the card isn’t banking on the co-main event; the card hinges on the tremendous drawing power of GSP. The main eventers are the primary figures that the UFC relies on to sell the UFC 137 fight card, and they know they can bank on GSP and Condit to do just that.

As a co-main eventer, Diaz gets to be right where he wants to be, in a big fight, but without as much demand on him to promote the card.

So now what happens if Diaz pulls off the win over Penn and puts himself in prime title shot position? Only time, and a not-so-easy victory over Penn, will tell.


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  • BigGuy

    What a crock of shit! If Dana was going to leave Nick THE DICK on the card, why not let him fight GSP? I think Dana fucked this one up!!!

    • imageoverload

      I agree. Diaz should be off the card completely, with a new contract so he can’t go boxing somewhere else. If i had an employee miss 2 mandatory meetings, he’d be fired. While Diaz shouldn’t be fired, missing a pay check for a couple months should hurt him too.

    • fiber05

      Any body the thinks Nick Diaz should stay on the main card is a F@&* idiot, that arrogant Bastard is lucky to stay in the UFC.

  • jared499

    Hey Bigguy, I too would rather see GSP vs. Diaz, but if you had an employee who on their first week skippd 2 mandatory meetings, would you reward that with the highest position in the office. I personally think that Diaz should have been fired, because if any of my 72 employees purposefully (W/O some sort of emergency excuse) skip a mandatory scheduled meeting, thats what happens to them, and Fighters and athletes should be held in the same regard. If nothing else he should have been pushed back to a card many months down the road.

    • Skeletor

      watch the hype machine start… this is all gold for the UFC, tons of press, someone the fans can hate(contrasted with gsp, the eternal good guy), a few months to build up… we could see the eventual showdown on big fox, with one of those weekly training shows to boot.

    • BigGuy

      I couldn’t agree more with you. My point was this: If you really want to punish the guy- remove him from the card entirely. If you are just going to shuffle the deck, then why bother? He should have fought GSP, or he should have been removed from the card entirely. I would have chosen to remove him.

      He cost the UFC a bundle, and he should be out some money too.

      • noheat

        I agree that Diaz is in the wrong for not showing up to the PR events. But him costing the UFC a bundle? You’re kidding right? The UFC probably got more PR for this b.s. now than they would have if he would have showed up to Canada and Vegas. Shit my local news (Sacramento, CA) was reporting it last night and I’ve yet to see them report anything on MMA unless it had something to do with Urijah Faber.

  • Bob

    If Diaz can pull off a win it does set up a better and somewhat more interesting story line.

    I think this is a very good match. Can’t even decide who to give the edge to!

  • devine22

    This whole thing has gotten crazt outta hand but still glad Diaz is going to fight! would love to see Condit beat gsp an Penn beat Diaz an then make this same card again but the way it was in the first place!!!

  • Mario

    ?????????

    Soooo, he get’s removed from the GSP fight, then get’s put back in against B.J. Penn?

    This is confusing.

    • Kalirudeboy

      What he is saying is that Condit and Penn win, and GSP and Diaz lose, then redo the same card with Condit v Penn for the belt and GSP v Diaz for the number 1 contender. That way we get to see the fights we wanted in the first place, plus the new matchups we have now. I for one am hoping both Penn and Condit emerge victorious because I am tired of Diaz and tired of GSP being Champ, he needs to get hungry enough to start taking chances to finish opponents again.

  • shereko

    Just dumb… Does he have pics of Dana and Lorenzo some where???

  • Sweet Lou

    Okay people…let’s slow your collective rolls.
    We’re talking about combat sports. Not business or corporate america (Zuffa not withstanding).

    Due to Nick’s actions there had to be be some repercussions, however that doesn’t negate his ability as a fighter. And ultimately, don’t we ALL want to see the best dudes scrapping?

    And corporate america (Zuffa) realizes this more than us. They want their ROI

    • bajafox

      Finally someone with some sense!

      Trying to compare this to a business meeting is plain fkn stupid. This is a completely different type of business. Not attending a PR event is not even close to being compared to a business meeting. You have meetings to get sh1t organized, plan, etc. A PR event is just a bunch of stupid questions and answers, not a gathering to decide what the future of the company will be.

      Anyway, I love/hate what happened over the last few days. I really wanted to see Diaz v. GSP but I can easily settle for Condit vs. GSP, problem I have now is I like both Diaz and BJ Penn, this is a tough fight for me but I can’t wait to see it.

      • ShockednAwed

        It’s not about comparing it to a business meeting… compare it to A.I. not wanting to show up for practice years ago (“We’re talking about practice… practice… practice… practice… not a game, practice…”) That was a douchebag move too, and he was benched for it. Deservedly so.

        The PR machine they’ve created at the UFC is the main part of the motor, not the fights in the cage. If the fights were the main thing for fans, Strikeforce would garner just as many viewers, so would Bellator. They don’t, because their promotion isn’t up to par. That’s because they accept guys like Diaz pulling stuff like this.

        Don’t get me wrong, Dana sticking him back into the card definitely seems to have hurt his credibility, and makes it look a lot more like an authoritative “don’t mess me around, kid” slap than an actual punishment.

        But saying the PR event is “just a bunch of stupid questions and answers” is simply missing the point of what’s going on. It’s much more than that.

  • d_f21

    Called it before anyone!!!!! Come on short bus give me credit bro haha

    • Sweet Lou

      That was pretty sweet brah!! :>)
      I’m glad you were right on that one…It’s going to be a great fight! Both these guys are great with their hands and have phenominal jui-jitsu!! No one should be complaining about two guys who actually come to fight.

      • d_f21

        Thank u sir haha im glad i was right also! This has “fight of the night written all over it” like they say. Both came up in mma known for their jits but have dominated lately with their hands…going to be a war….

        Now lets take our picks….im saying diaz by gnp…but if Penn is able to establish his jab early and take down diaz like he did with fitch…it could his night….with that said i think nick is younger and hungrier than Penn and will take risks to get the win

        • Skeletor

          it depends on which penn shows up – hopefully diaz will piss him off enough for penn to do his best… sometimes penn half-asses it, or gives up when he starts to fall behind.

          that said, I say Penn gets his back standing, Diaz tries to slam out of it and Penn gets the rnc sub.

  • Skeletor

    cool, i like to watch diaz fight, even if he’s an asshole. as opposed to koscheck, who i hate to watch because hes an asshole.

    get ready for 73000 “jabs” (if you can even call them punches) some “WHAT! WHAT! IM DA MAN!!” talk during the fight, raising his hands to ask teacher a question(i actually dig this move, tho) and hopefully a lot of blood coming out of that centaur-looking giant forehead-faucet of diaz.

  • collideoverme

    Yeah…Dana dropped the ball on this one.I’d rather see Nick Diaz not in the UFC at all.

  • http://www.babybusters.org CanedInSingapore

    I smell a conspiracy here. Not satisfied with having Jon Jones fight Rashad, Dana White engineered to have two other Jackson’s guys fight each other as well (GSP and Condit). Otherwise, why didn’t Dana do to Nick Diaz what he did to Nate Marquardt? Dana has never liked Greg Jackson and his camp, and is going all out to destroy it.

  • epyonx1

    The road doesn’t get any easier?
    This is the equivalent of Diaz walking on a road up the hill where GSP is standing. On the way there, Diaz sees a beauty pageant on one side, and a cliff on the other side. So he willingly jumps off the cliff.
    But then, like in the movies, you look over the cliff and Diaz is hanging onto a ledge, trying to get back up for some reason. You can’t help but feel that you overpaid for your movie ticket.

  • http://www.twitter.com/uncanny390 uncanny390

    Road doesn’t get any easier? Why? This is a fight Diaz can actually win. I say CAN, not WILL. He certainly would have lost to Georges St. Pierre

    Was I the only one who saw Georges St. Pierre school BJ Penn like he was an amateur the last time they fought? They aren’t on the same level.

  • jhfcf

    I think I expressed my feelings and rationale very well on yesterday’s article about Nick’s actions. It seems to me there is still a lot of hate here!! As I said yesterday, the majority of people n this country, the Pide Piper followers, love the “pageantry” and the bullshit that comes from meetings and press conferences. None of that fluff matters!! The real reason why people are mad at Nick is because he can do what nobody else can!! People are always jealous and always say things like, “who does he think he is?” or “he should be held in the same regard as the rest of us.” What a bunch of losers!!! People like Nick, who deviate from the norm and do not let corporate America or society in general force them into conformity are to be commended for not being mindless puppets!! All people think about is the money that Nick could have made or the money Dana lost in his investment. There are way many things more important in life than money!! For instance, the notion that one can be one’s own person, without being controlled by others, to be without control of those who care about bullshit that has nothing to do with fighting, which is what Nick wants to do!! So, go sit in your meetings and pretend that you’re important, with your massive egos, but believe me, nobody cares!!! Except other nerds like you!!! Go Nick!!! Beat that whinny baby from Hilo who brought his mommy to a hearing in front of the commission to defend him after GSP beat him!!!! Oh, and let’s not forget that B.J. Penn has also done some similar things to the UFC management in the past, similar to what Nick did, and B.J. is still in the UFC, not to mention he was arrested for punching a police officer in Hawaii. Dumbasses!!!!

    • BigGuy

      ” For instance, the notion that one can be one’s own person, without being controlled by others, to be without control of those who care about bullshit that has nothing to do with fighting, which is what Nick wants to do!!” Are you the most delusional person on the planet, or what???

      Dana, the UFC, and the rest of the people that live in reality don’t work that way. He has no choice but to conform to his chosen work environment, or he can go open his own business and not be, “controlled by others”.

      We all do things at our jobs that we may not like from time to time, but you do what you have to in order to survive.

      I will guess from your comments that you either still live in your mother’s basement, or have never held a job at all. Either way, very stupid observations on your part.

    • KevinBrazil

      @jhfcf Bro, While i agree with part of what you are saying, all that really matters is the fight. People want to see the best fighters and Nick for all his perceived faults is one of them. But as a fight fan I like to see the interviews and the energy that comes from watching fighters in close proximity to one another before a fight. Lots of people like it, that does not make us ’’pied piper followers’’, It makes us fans and you are one too. Hyping up the fight ‘’IS’’ and always will be part of the GAME, Ali was a great fighter one of the greatest but what we also loved about him was what we saw in the interviews, all the trash and smack, he was the best at that too. If Diaz doesn’t like that part of the GAME then say so in the interviews and press conferences, be the DICK that everyone loves to hate. He already is so play it up and he will make millions. Because at the end of the day like it or not, it is all about the money. But hey that’s just my Opinion. I hope that BJ beats the crap out of him. As a fan that’s what I want to see.

    • noheat

      I see both sides of the coin here. Dana said over and over again when he signed Diaz that Diaz would have to “play the game” in order to stay in the UFC, but I think that the UFC brass should maybe not set guys like this up for failure. These guys are supposed to be fighters not PR machines. I think most of us would rather see these guys fight than talk about how their going to fight. Maybe in the future instead of removing them from the fights or the cards just fine them some $ and then let them fight.

      • ShockednAwed

        Dude, if they’re going to turn themselves into money, they need to learn how to be part of the PR machine. Christ, the UFC does all the work and covers all the expense (arranging the conference, flying in the fighters, etc.), all these guys have to do is sit there and say some inflammatory things about their opponent to drive interest. Not many in the biz are better at talking shit than Diaz, so really, he would have been in his element.

  • madona

    Diaz vs GSP was a way more interesting fight.

    BJ Penn vs Diaz is still a very interesting fight (much more then bore fest GSP vs Condit)

  • gscrapper

    This is very disheartening. We’ve all wanted to see diaz/gsp for a while now. To compare diaz’s actions to regular folks who work at a company is only buying into Dana’s b.s. First off, even in corp america employees get a chance to explain themselves before HR before some CEO w/ an ego makes a firing off the cuff.. If Dana really wants to act like a CEO, then don’t make rash judgements on the spot because your ego is bruised. Secondly, the most IMPORTANT thing in combat sport is that the fight happens. As a promoter, you make sure you do everything in your power to ensure the fight happens and the last thing you do is prevent a fight because a promotional obligation wasn’t met. Dock the fighter’s pay if you have to.. But under no circumstance, do you volunteerily destroy a fight every fan wants to see all because he didn’t show up to a presser that I bet you most of fans don’t care to tune in to.. We just want to see the fight, but now we can’t because Dana felt the need to flex his muscle.. If the true concern is that Diaz wouldn’t have shown up to the actual bout (B.S., Diaz has never ever missed a fight!) then you don’t even consider putting him into the co-main event.. It defies logic.. Bottom line, Dana overreacted as he seldom does and this makes the UFC look real bush league.. I’m sure FOX won’t be happy with stuff like this if the UFC decides to pull a fighter that’s supposed to be featured on FOX.. Anyway, boxing is bad because we can’t get fighters to agree to fight one another because of their ego… I really hope the UFC doesn’t prevent future fights because the promoter’s ego

    • Sweet Lou

      Nicely put brah…

    • noheat

      Very nicely put!!!

  • NM

    This is wrong on many levels.

    If Dana doesn’t trust Nick to show up to fights, why put him on the card?

    If you want to punish Nick, do what you do when a fighter is unprofessional and comes in over the weight limit…make it a non-title bout and/or fine him.

    Fans will still watch since GSP is the main draw, right?

  • NM

    I’m also disgusted that Ken Pishna doesn’t question Dana’s decision at all. He sees it exactly how Dana sees it. Typical and gutless.

  • Rasslin

    I’m sure he’ll get a pay cut from main money to co main money but Diaz (always been a fan) IMO deserved much more – his actions really disrespects the hard work other people put in to be recognized as professional athletes for a growing sport = MMA. His actions reflect on all MMA fighters. And what if he beats Penn?

  • gscrapper

    Dana doesn’t make sense.. He writes – “You(the fans) wanted it, so you got it, Diaz vs Penn”… BUT, the fans wanted DIAZ vs. GSP!!!… So why ruin what fans originally wanted only to give fans their “second option”.. Bush league.. Look, I think Dana has done a great job up until this point, but he screwed this one up. But whatever, I’m grateful as an mma fan that we can see more exciting fights in the future and I just hope Dana doesn’t make rash decisions like this again.

    • NM

      Totally agree. It also adds to the speculation that Dana is protecting GSP. Nick and Spider have been the 2 fights that fans want to see GSP take.
      Diaz beating GSP…that’d be the biggest nightmare ever for FOX.
      I’m getting the feeling that Dana will do everything in his power to make sure we don’t see either of those fights (maybe when Spider turns 40).

  • ajmadic

    lol, you guys bitch way too much.

  • NM

    amen

  • Cptmats

    This is fuckin bullshit ! Dana did the right thing, this lil faggot was in the UFC once allready and his thug like behavior fucked it up once allready ! Not only does Dana give hime another shot but a tittle shot at that. (which he sure as fuck does’t deserve) and the first thing he does is skip out on both press conferences. This isn’t some back yard tough man comp ! This is a sport and these are profesionals . There are other responibilities that come with being a profesional athletes !
    He should be cut !……He’s been givin two chances, He dosn’t desrve a third.
    BTW Pen will kill this lil faggot ! Better hands and Better BJJ !

    • noheat

      You came across a little vague. What is your real opinion on all of this?

      • ajmadic

        lol, pont.

  • Jmoney

    dana talks about ufc is all about producing the best fights… best fighters in the world vs the best fighters in the world (with the exception he can make as much money as possible when doing so…like they already dont have enough)
    who gives a fuck about going to PR meetings… fighters have 6-8 weeks to train… why make the fighters fly here and there to go show their face and answer a bunch of questions… they should do everything via satellite and let fighter focus on training for the fight and not worry about fights and all the other bull shit.
    the way things are going its turning into boxing.
    GSP is a lil poster boy for UFC and im sure dana knows diaz will beat st pierre.
    can you imagine diaz as the WW champ… dana is gonna hate him cause he doesnt have the best public image…lol

    • ShockednAwed

      God knows why you would think Diaz would stand a chance against GSP.

      Yeah, Diaz owned Daley – who was absolutely owned by Koschek – who has twice been absolutely owned by GSP, through two phases of his career. And most will probably remember what St. Pierre did to B.J. last time out, with all of his skills.

      Perhaps after Penn wins this upcoming fight the Diaz hype will die down, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how it even got started.

  • s_nomak

    what the fuck is this shit??? i was really hoping to see gsp vs diaz. what do you say to this shitty move, dana lovers?

    • ShockednAwed

      Shitty move to put him back on the card – the right move to pull him from the main event.

      If he’s not willing to hype it up, why would I wanna watch? If he doesn’t care about the fight (and that’s going to be the casual fan’s opinion when a guy no-shows something), why should I?

      And that’s why it was the right move. Much love, Dana. :D

  • ShockednAwed

    lmao… you add in the bit about pot as if that’s got anything to do with anything… almost like saying, “and he’s doing all of this with spikey black hair.”

    You’re another missing the point. If Diaz wants to fight in the UFC, and obviously he does or he wouldn’t have signed the contract and dropped the Strikeforce strap in the crapper, then he does want all those things. You’re buying into the character hype, sir.
    The promotion of a main-event PPV fight is the most critial thing to boost buyrate. If they were just producing these shows for real hardcore fans, there wouldn’t be any PPVs, because there aren’t enough hardcore fans to cover the costs.
    All you guys looking at this from the ‘pure fandom’ standpoint, as admirable as that is, aren’t seeing the big picture – if nobody was willing to stick themselves in front of the camera and hype this shit up, there wouldn’t be a UFC as we know it today.
    Again, with Dana putting him back on the card, Dana lost credibility. He looks a lot more like a mental loose-cannon, and the punishment obviously looses some weight. But pulling him from the fight was the right move.

  • http://www.twitter.com/uncanny390 uncanny390

    Yeah and Fox is going to be pumped when they put together a presser for their event and Nick Diaz blows them off. They will think the UFC are a bunch of great professionals then.

  • bdono554

    Diaz is going to lose Penn is a better boxer and knows submissions that Diaz hasn’t even heard of. Win Win For Dana Diaz is out of the main event and Diaz’s lose shows strikeforce as the inferior product it is. I don’t care about Who fights GSP he’s far and away better than anyone in the Welterweight division

  • http://www.twitter.com/uncanny390 uncanny390

    Exactly bdono544. I’m not upset about this because the headline change is this “GSP no longer to defeat Nick Diaz, will now defeat Carlos Condit.” The outcome is the same.

    I don’t see the anger about the move from either side. People are mad Diaz got removed, and others are mad he got put back on. The fact is he did something wrong and got punished. Fighting BJ Penn is not the same as getting the chance to beat P4P second best and champion GSP. Matt Serra beat GSP once and did nothing else in his career and is at like co-main event levels of popularity. Thats what an opportunity like that can do for you. So it isn’t like nothing happened here.

    The fact is Dana had to show right away to Nick Diaz that the UFC is attempting to become a mainstream professional sport and so you have to act like a fucking professional in his league. He couldnt let Diaz’s very first infraction slide or Diaz would think he could do whatever he wanted. Look at Paul Daley in BAMMA. He could miss weight ten times in a row, and BAMMA would keep putting him on cards. And then he goes and whines like a bitch on Twitter like he’s the victim when the fight almost doesnt happen (exactly what Diaz did btw) If you dont make weight in the UFC you move down a class or your ass hits the door. Because these guys aren’t just fighters, they are PROFESSIONAL athletes.

    And people are acting like what Diaz did was just miss two press conferences. It’s not that so much as how he wouldn’t even answer phone calls! What if Nick Diaz had told Dana from the start, “Hey Dana. I’m not doing the press conferences. It’s not my style. I just like to fight without all the glamor.” Did he do that, Diaz fans? Or did he say “Hey Dana I’ll be there.” Then didnt show up. “Hey Dana I need another ticket I’ll be there.” Then didnt show up. Then didnt show up again. Didnt answer any phone calls. Wouldnt talk to his team. He’s a punk-bitch teen skipping school, not a fucking warrior monk who is only focused on the moment of the fight. Come on, people.

    And seriously people who were excited to see Diaz get a shot at GSP, what was the way you had envisioned for him to win? Seriously? He is known for boxing. You expected GSP to just stand around boxing him? Or has Nick Diaz been doing Olympic wrestling trials and is going to stuff every takedown GSP throws at him? Or was he gonna fire off all kinds of submissions, even though master jiu-jitsu player BJ Penn failed for four rounds straight to get anything? Just tell me what gameplan was going to lead to Nick Diaz pulling off the win here.

    Diaz acted like a dick and got punished. GSP will beat Condit instead. That’s all that happened here. There is no grand conspiracy. Let’s watch the fights.

    • ShockednAwed

      “He’s a punk-bitch teen skipping school, not a fucking warrior monk who is only focused on the moment of the fight.”
      Absolutely brilliant, and spot-on. Great post. :D

  • Kalirudeboy

    Don’t think so. Diaz signed up to dance, then skipped out on his own manager and hid out like a scared little girl. Condit presents more of a challenge to GSP’s crown than Diaz ever will, and I will be surprised if Diaz gets past BJ.

  • streetfightertoo

    who will talk more shit in the octagon?