How Much of Nick Diaz Will the UFC Put Up With?

Nick Diaz 2As a bettor of UFC and MMA in general, I like it when Nick Diaz fights. Diaz is a highly skilled fighter that has always made for solid fights, compelling fights and his outlandish and sometimes bewildering behavior acts as a polarizing force – people either love him or hate him, but there is always a lot of action around a Nick Diaz fight. This is why Diaz and his camp’s latest post St-Pierre fight rantings are a little disconcerting. When is enough, enough? It has to be a legit question, and leading up to UFC 158 it was enough of a possibility that some sportsbooks took action on a line of whether or not Diaz would be cut following his title challenge. The specific line was Diaz at +1750 for being cut after the fight. Nick has obviously not been cut yet, but when will my bet be gone and not pay off? This should still be an open bet, as no original timeline was set for when the cut would have to be announced by. For those who may have missed it, the Diaz camp has been complaining about handling of the weigh-in procedures around the St-Pierre fight. Apparently, Georges may have been allowed to weigh-in slightly above the 170lb mark, although there is zero hard evidence to substantiate this claim. There is a lot of talk about sour grapes, or that Diaz is behaving in his usual bizarre way, but he has a point in that the contract and the regulations around title fights are specific in that there is no cushion awarded. Anyway, what we think doesn’t really matter all that much, as long as Diaz has a contract, anything he does that stirs the pot will earn him more attention so this publicity suits him either way. What does matter here however, is what his employer, UFC President Dana White, thinks. White has clearly tried to be tough with Diaz, cancelling a title fight in the past that certainly cost the UFC machine a few dollars. Dana has also appeared to take it easy on Diaz after a few missed photo shoots and offering him main events from BJ Penn to St-Pierre, with the title match coming off a loss and long suspension for his penchant for the ‘high life’. That same extra-curricular activity got Matt Riddle cut, so White gives Diaz a cushion as well. White has a long history of taking sharp, definitive actions. He has cut big names from their UFC contract in the past, and there are times where it is warranted to send the message White wants to send – ‘no fighter is bigger than the UFC’. This is the man that cut ties with then Lightweight Champion Jens Pulver and did away with the division as a whole for a few years. Tito Ortiz, then UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett and Randy Couture have all experienced White’s wrath. ‘King’ Mo Lawal didn’t even get in the door at the UFC from Strikeforce, cut from his contract because of a negative exchange of pleasantries with a commissioner residing over his PED hearing. That is what Diaz is messing with, the relationship between the promoter (the UFC) and the commissions that govern the sport. Part of what Diaz’ misguided rants have focused on, is a rematch with St-Pierre. The fact is, he is not getting another match with St-Pierre, and even a second fight with Carlos Condit is not all that appealing at this point. What does that leave? Jake Ellenberger would be a very interesting fight for Diaz, or perhaps Demian Maia. Whether Diaz, who constantly talks about retirement, would even entertain those fights is a completely different matter. So, from the UFC’s perspective, would it be better to cut ties with their ‘problem child’ now, perhaps sign him at a reduced rate and make a big deal about his comeback after a year or two away. At this point, Diaz is still walking a tightrope and is at risk of being a goner from the UFC.

Written by Miguel

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