Conference calls are a sometimes-mundane part of fight promotion – but not when Nick Diaz is involved.
The Sunday Junkie, MMAjunkie.com’s weekly reader-feedback feature, got plenty of submissions regarding Diaz’s epic rants on this past week’s UFC 158 media call and what it might mean for his goal of defeating Georges St-Pierre.
This week’s winner, Alaska’s Terence Parton, believes Diaz may not be quite the loose cannon he would seem to want the world to believe. In fact, Terence believes Nick’s entire persona may all be a part of a carefully scripted plan.
For his winning entry, Terence wins a free one-year subscription to “Fighters Only” magazine, the world’s leading MMA and lifestyle magazine.
Want to submit to next week’s edition of The Sunday Junkie? Scroll to the bottom of the page for instructions.
Also, as a reminder, please be sure to include your hometown and stick within the 150-word limit (and include your submission in the body of an email, not in an attachment). Many quality submissions this week didn’t meet those minimum guidelines and couldn’t be considered for publication.
(Pictured: Nick Diaz)
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IS NICK DIAZ FOOLING US ALL?
The UFC 158 conference call brought us classic Nick Diaz quotes along with an angry “GSP” and all of the jokes that followed. Plenty of critics and fans have questioned not only his chances of winning but his intelligence and sanity, as well. I wonder if we have misinterpreted his bolds claims and abundant confidence as bravado and “Nick being Nick.” Maybe Diaz has a subtle genius to him as he lures his opponent into a verbal sparring match rather than them focusing on their own preparation for their bout. Maybe Diaz can lure “GSP” into his style of fight. Maybe Diaz is getting the attention he wants while distracting his opponent, all as he moves closer to becoming a UFC champ. Maybe Nick Diaz is fooling us all.
Eagle River, Alaska
IS DIAZ REALLY KEEPING IT REAL?
For about the first half of this past week’s UFC 158 conference call, it was crystal clear to me that Diaz was reading prompts. After that, he went off piste somewhat, but he definitely had a cunning agenda. He made sure he planted the seed about the judging and wrestling (let’s try and guess how he truly thinks the fight will end next week!). Diaz said he has no one to help him manage his money, hand him his bottle, etc. Are we seriously meant to believe that the opportunity hasn’t been presented to him? Or that he hasn’t been the one to screw it up? Clearly it’s working for a lot of people, but I just keep hearing a grown man speaking like a frustrated child who whines his way into the spotlight with carefully positioned excuses and (to quote Nick) “bulls–t.”
NICK DIAZ DOES NOT DESERVE TO BE FIGHTING GEORGES ST-PIERRE
Nick Diaz’s mouth is distracting everyone from the fact that he does not deserve to even be fighting Georges St-Pierre this upcoming weekend. In Diaz’s most recent fight, he lost to Carlos Condit, and then Condit went and lost to St-Pierre, so Diaz should not be given a title shot after a loss. Sure, he is a top-ranked fighter and yes, he probably should get a fight with St-Pierre down the road, but make him earn it. What the UFC should have done was give Johny Hendricks the fight with St-Pierre and put Diaz against Jake Ellenberger or in a rematch with Carlos Condit before giving him a shot at the belt.
Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
WORDS WON’T BE ENOUGH FOR NICK DIAZ
Nick Diaz and Georges St-Pierre are set to go at UFC 158. As usual, Diaz has had strong words for the champ, and also as usual, it appears Diaz has gotten under St-Pierre’s skin. Everyone knows this is a Diaz pre-fight tactic, including St-Pierre, but here we have it again. I have always been a fan of the Diaz brothers, but for once I wish Nick would do his talking in the ring instead of out of it. Diaz might do well to spend more time thinking about how to take the belt away as opposed to ways to piss off someone riding a seven-fight title defense streak. We know “GSP” has what Nick wants, but what we don’t know is if Nick has what it takes to get it away from him. Words alone will not be enough.
TIMING MEANS EVERYTHING WHEN IT COMES TO BLOCKBUSTER FIGHTS
There’s a fine line between a great fight and a “blockbuster” fight. Timing is everything. Is Georges St-Pierre vs, Nick Diaz a great fight? Of course. Could it have been a “blockbuster” fight? Absolutely. If this fight happened right after Nick Diaz’s dominant win over B.J. Penn, it would of had many fans at the edge of their seats waiting for this fight. Instead, more than one year goes by, Diaz loses to Carlos Condit and all of a sudden many critics are asking why this fight is even happening. Right now, the St-Pierre vs. Anderson Silva and Silva vs. Jon Jones fight are in a similar situation. If either of those fights happened right now, it would shatter pay-per-view records. Instead, it is now in jeopardy if St-Pierre, Silva or Jones lose in their next fight. As of now, that ship has sailed. Hopefully all three fighters win and that ship comes back around.
McRae “Mac” Gall
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
MARSHALL VS. ALIEVE AN EXAMPLE OF HOW MMA SCORING SHOULD BE
Bellator 92 saw a controversial split decision awarded to Doug Marshall over Sultan Aliev. Many thought that Aliev’s takedowns should have scored for octagon control. But by not advancing position or pursuing meaningful offense with ground and pound or submission attempts, Herb Dean was forced to stand them up several times throughout the fight. If a fighter is stood up, he has lost the control he secured with the takedown. Judges should note this as a stalemate rather than a point for the wrestler. On the feet, we saw Aliev avoid exchanges while still getting damaged by Marshall’s power strikes. Marshall was the aggressor throughout the fight, actively pursuing Aliev. To avoid fighters stalling with takedowns winning decisions, commissions should implement PRIDE criteria. Closest to finishing by knockout or submission, effort to finish, damage and control. By putting emphasis in that order we can see more exciting fights.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
TAKEDOWNS ALONE SHOULD NOT BE REWARDED
In this week’s episode of “The Ultimate Fighter 17,” wrestler Jimmy Quinlan took on striker Clint Hester. Quinlan appeared to dominate his opponent in the first round with superior wrestling. In the weekly recap here on MMAjunkie.com, the author gave the round to Quinlan. However, after rewatching the round, I came to the conclusion that Hester won that round easily. Yes, he was controlled on the ground, but for no longer than two minutes. The rest of the round he was blasting Quinlan with knees, bodyshots, hammerfists and elbows to the face while shaking off multiple takedown attempts. After five minutes, Hester had outstruck Quinlan 45-0. In the end, all of this didn’t matter because Hester tapped to a rear-naked choke in the second round. My point is, a fighter shouldn’t be rewarded for just taking his opponent down and holding on to him without doing any damage.
Edo van Beek
Tilburg, the Netherlands
BELLATOR PROVES THAT BIG FIGHTS, NOT BIG NAMES, MAKE GREAT CARDS
Two weeks ago, the MMA world was buzzing because Jon Fitch was cut by the UFC. Heads immediately turned to the Viacom-owned Bellator MMA for them to snatch up the talented fighter. However, they stunned everyone when CEO Bjorn Rebney said he wanted to cultivate his own talent. Then came what many will consider to be one of the best cards of the year in Bellator 90. Then 91 and 92 came and further proved that Bellator does not need big names in order to secure their status as the No. 2 promotion in the world; it just needs to continue to put on amazing fights. Honestly, aside from “King Mo,” Eddie Alvarez and a few champions, are there any big-name draws there? The attraction to many MMA fans should be the fact that these guys will go out and give an amazing show, and hopefully they will continue to do so!
BELLATOR PROVES UFC NOT THE ONLY HOME FOR ENTERTAINING MMA
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The UFC isn’t the only place to watch great fights. Bellator 92 was host to several amazing fights, and most didn’t include UFC alumni. In fact, Bellator has been providing consistent shows for several months. With the “must win” attitude, which has become newly developed in the UFC yet ever-present in the tournament style of Bellator, the starkest contrast is Bellator’s fights are getting better, whereas the UFC seems to be getting an influx of lackluster performances by fighters fighting “not to lose.” This goes to show the caliber of fighters smaller promotions are looking for in providing great fights. The fact that the formats are the same shows that the UFC is headed in the wrong direction, whereas other promotions are thriving under the same rules. I find myself looking forward to the Bellator cards more so than some UFC events.
Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia, Canada
WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING FOSTERING TRUE COMPETITION IN MMA
Mixed martial arts is about competition, and the World Series of Fighting won huge this week by signing Jon Fitch. They’ve also made a huge statement: Unlike the UFC, they aren’t willing to sacrifice high-level talent and competition. Fitch, most of the time, puts on a clinic that many true MMA fans can appreciate. He has proven time and again he is among the top welterweights in the world. He might not be the “most exciting” fighter, but he often performs at a higher level than his opponent. Dana White has also made a statement: He’s willing to sacrifice that highest level of competition just to watch two guys stand and bang. In that case, I’d much rather watch boxing. MMA, as competition, has come a long way in the past 20 years, and White, it seems, wants to regress back to that point. I, for one, am not interested.
Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
MATT RIDDLE KNEW THE RULES BEFORE HE BROKE THEM
This is not a debate on whether marijuana is a performance-enhancing drug. The fact of the matter, like it or not, is that it is a banned substance for fighters. Whether it is fair is irrelevant, because all fighters are aware prior to testing. Therefore, operating under those guidelines, a fighter being cut after two consecutive positive test results should come as no surprise. Going off of the facts, is it fair of the UFC to cut Matt Riddle? Absolutely. Unpopular as it may be, it is a job, and many employers would terminate an employee after the first failed test result. There are enough fighters out there who can perform and meet the requirements necessary to not garner negative attention to the company.
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