Nick Diaz proved on Saturday night that he is one of the best and most talented welterweight fighters in the world. He also didn’t do too much to dispel the idea that he is surly, capricious and erratic.
As is becoming custom, much of the media’s focus is being put less on Diaz and Paul Daley’s epic one-rounder and its specific repercussions and more on what, if any, kind of peripheral drama emerged from the event. When there is an event featuring Nick Diaz, there is almost always peripheral drama and Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley was no different.
Following the fight, Diaz had a typical but minor outburst in the cage which had someone warning him that he would be suspended. One slightly scattered interview with MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani later and now the headlines read something to the effect of: “How crazy is Nick Diaz?” as opposed to “How crazy was Diaz vs. Daley?”
For all the sensationalism surrounding Diaz, there are, as always, truthful claims and worries raised amidst the throng. In speaking with Helwani, UFC president Dana White made a few of those claims and raised a few of those worries, eventually asserting as he has before that Diaz just needs to calm down a little.
“When I listen to Nick Diaz talk, you know, this kid’s talented, he’s well-rounded, I like his attitude and the way that he carries himself — to a point,” said White. “He always crosses the line every time he gets out there and talks publicly and — he can be such a big star. This kid could be a big star if he would just calm down a little bit and not so be so angry with everybody.”
Also as he has before, White explained that Diaz has all the potential in the world to be as big as the UFC’s most sought-after stars, if he would just take it easy every now and then.
“Nick has this talent and he talks about the big money and all the other things. He can make this big money. He can do that. He can be that guy. He could fight GSP. He could have all these opportunities. He’s got to tone it down a little bit, you know, and I don’t think that many people out there would disagree with me and I’m not asking Nick Diaz not to be Nick Diaz,” he said. “I like Nick Diaz. I like the way he is and it’s part of the appeal of him, you know. But you gotta tone it down just a little bit. …if we could get Nick to a point where he doesn’t cross the line and he doesn’t get so crazy all the time, he could be a big star. People like him. And people dislike him, too. That’s not a bad thing.”