For a man that claims he didn’t want to make excuses, Nick Diaz sure found time to find a few. UFC 158 was a great card. Montreal was a loud and exciting crowd. The fights were fast and furious and did not disappoint. While Carlos Condit and Johny Hendricks stole the show in the cage, it was the man, the myth, the Nick Diaz that found a way by the end of the night to have stole the spotlight.
Georges St Pierre vs Nick Diaz, a fight that has been YEARS in the making. Originally scheduled to fight before, finally we had the fight we have been waiting for. Except, well… It wasn’t much of a fight. Sure, Diaz had a flurry or two, but the fight was controlled both on the ground and on the feet by the champion St Pierre. In all honesty, it was complete domination. Five rounds to none. Diaz might have had his biggest highlights after rounds. Once, getting into a verbal shouting match after the bell. Then later, taking a swing at St. Pierre well after the round had ended.
Now you didn’t really think that Diaz was going to “hug” that St Pierre after the fight, raise his hand and walk away with all sincerity now did you? Oh sure, there were was an almost sickening love fest after the fight. Nervous but sportsman-like admiration between the camps. St Pierre for his part was very complimentary towards his opponent. Talked about the difficulties fighting a fighter the skill of a Nick Diaz. His boxing, his range. But once Nick Diaz got a microphone he was the show for the rest of the night.
First up, the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. Immediately after the fight, Diaz did his retirement song and dance that we’ve become accustomed to him doing. His heart wasn’t into the game any longer. He was only doing it for a paycheck. He did compliment GSP at first but then the magic started. Diaz stated he didn’t want to make excuses but…
Now, I must preface this with saying that I jokingly made a twitter reference at the time that the over/under on Diaz making excuses was 10. Little did I know I would be close to right.
Back to the interview… While almost instantly saying he didn’t want to make excuses, they begun to flow. First Diaz told Rogan that he felt his layoff and rust was why he wasn’t prepared tonight. Hinting subtly that his camp might have been to blame as well. That ladies and gents was just the beginning. For now, let’s keep the count at 2.
Up next, FuelTV’s post-fight recap show and interview with Ariel Helwani. Now the gloves were off. The for sure retiring Nick Diaz not only said he was not sure about retirement but now he wanted a rematch. He stated that Georges hit like a woman and he knew he could beat him. The most memorable moment of the interview was after Helwani stated that he was out of time and that led to a censor-filled tantrum by Diaz towards the cameras.
At first, the post-fight UFC 158 Press Conference was going off smoothly. A love fest of respect between champion and future challenger Johny Hendricks. Praise towards KO of the night winner Jake Ellenberger. Respect and admiration for how hard Carlos Condit fought in defeat. Diaz for his part was a no-show. Dana White had stated that Diaz would not be attending and had stormed out. We should have known better. Diaz go quietly into the night? No way.
Diaz would arrive midway through the presser by sitting with the media. Whether it was White or one of the UFC’s officials or Diaz himself, we don’t know, but Diaz would then slide on stage at the end and to the left of Hendricks and GSP. From that point, it was either hilarious, sad or absolute must watch video for fight fans. Maybe even soap opera daytime TV fans too.
Let the excuse counter begin…
While Diaz recapped the fight he once again talked about his lack of preparation for UFC 158. Talking about how everyone knew he had the GSP fight before he did. Cesar, Dana and even Georges. Then he went on a tirade about how he can beat GSP, wanted a rematch and a fight with Anderson Silva. Yet, he knew that he would not be given any of those and most likely would fight Carlos Condit again. A fight that Condit, for his part said was interesting and something he would want to do again.
Diaz would go on to present the most entertainment of the night. He blamed the time zone. Didn’t know if he should be asleep or awake. Coach what should I do? He blamed his camp. He blamed the timing and how Jake Shields and Gilbert Melendez were training for fights and couldn’t train hard with him. He blamed Cesar for being distracted and only praised a few sparring partners and coaches for taking time.
He also blamed his stomach, though I could not be sure if it was because he ate something or the weight cut? It was sort of him mumbling at that point. Diaz blamed the hand wraps that Jake Shields complained about and supposedly Diaz was cut by a punch that wasn’t hard but cut him anyway. Diaz went on and on. Ask him a question, he definitely answered it… and then some. He still insisted he wanted to retire while in the same breathe, looked at Georges and said I can beat you I want a rematch. He said he could beat Silva and that if he fought again it would have to be something that interests him. Almost giving the impression that fight scheduling was on his terms even though in the next sentence he would be resigned to acknowledge he had no control. Was he retiring or not?
Overall, I believe he only made 5 excuses total. That is being generous because he also blamed how the fight game is played. He compared Pride and the stand-up rules. He didn’t like wrestlers just laying on him and getting points for takedowns. He didn’t like that he couldn’t control the outcome of fights and the rules they fight under. He disrespected the judges and officials. He even questioned, I believe jokingly (who knows?) about why if Hendricks is next why is he sitting next to GSP?
Saving the best gem for last… Diaz stated that he had never paid income tax. Didn’t even know how to do it. Nick, no one believes you are retiring and with that very public statement you might have to fight a few more fights strictly for the IRS. All in all… great night!