With Nick Diaz nowhere to be found, UFC president Dana White has pulled him from an impending title fight against champ Georges St-Pierre, scheduled for the main event of UFC 137.
Diaz, who vacated his Strikeforce title to take the fight against GSP, has blown off several media appearances over the last few days and missed $15,000 worth of flights paid for by the UFC, by White’s estimation. When it became apparent that Diaz would not be attending today’s pre-fight press conference held in Las Vegas, White went to work and secured the services of top-flight welterweight Carlos Condit, who was scheduled to fight BJ Penn in the co-main event of that card.
“I’d had my reservations about Nick Diaz for a long time,” White said today, shortly before announcing the new St-Pierre-Condit fight by rolling a promo video. “You’ve heard me use the term ‘play the game.’ All I asked him for was this much. When he signed, I said, ‘Let me tell you what kid, add up all the purses of you career, this will be biggest fight of your life.’ You have the opportunity to fight GSP and win the welterweight title. But I need you to do certain things.”
For his part, St-Pierre was completely baffled, stating repeatedly that he simply doesn’t understand how Diaz could blow such a huge opportunity by not showing up for his media obligations.
Just hours before the presser went down, White offered the fight to Condit, who was apparently moved to tears. The Natural Born Killer will now face fellow Team Jackson member St-Pierre for the title in little over a month. As of now, White isn’t sure what’s in store for Condit’s originally scheduled opponent, BJ Penn, but he predicts having to deal with “one seriously pissed off Hawaiian.”
As for Diaz, White said that his future will likely find him outside of the UFC as a result of the lack of professionalism he’s displayed and the significant amount of money he cost the promotion in flights, promos and ticket sales.
“I would have to assume that, yes, we’re probably going to let him go, but we’ll see what happens,” he said.
St-Pierre and Condit will dispute the UFC welterweight title this October 29 at UFC 137, which takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.