MONTREAL – Dana White has said all week that he knew exactly what he was getting into by doing business with Nick Diaz. But even some of Saturday must have taken him a little by surprise.
After Diaz (26-9 MMA, 7-6 UFC) dropped a unanimous decision to Georges St-Pierre (24-2 MMA, 18-2 UFC) in the main event of UFC 158, he basically (again) announced his retirement in the octagon.
At the post-event news conference at Montreal’s Bell Centre, White said Diaz told him he wasn’t going to attend. But 35 minutes into the proceedings, Diaz strolled onto the dais, ready to greet the media.
And once there, it seemed as if he retired, unretired, asked for a rematch with St-Pierre, asked for a fight with Anderson Silva, considered whether or not his longtime training home did enough to help him prepare for the title fight – and perhaps even put himself on the radar of the Internal Revenue Service. All in about 10 minutes’ time.
Diaz said he wasn’t going to make excuses for the loss, which St-Pierre won with a 50-45 sweep of the judges’ scorecards. But when asked by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) if he was considering changing training homes if he elected to stay in the sport, the Stockton, Calif., product went on a tangent that really can only be described as Diaz-ian at this point.
“I can’t be jumping teams,” Diaz told MMAjunkie.com. “I just have to do the best with what I have. You know what? I’ve never paid taxes in my life, no joke. And no one wants to hear that kind of talk and what’s going on with me. I might as well just be a kid. I’ve had fight after fight after fight after fight, and you don’t know what that does to somebody who didn’t graduate high school. Take it into consideration for a second what three fights a year will do to you your whole life. And the only time you have some time off, it’s not like it’s a vacation – everybody’s telling you you’re this piece of s—, you’re suspended, you ain’t fighting this guy, you ain’t fighting that guy, you have to come back and dance around a bunch of hard hitting people. It’s a rough sport.”
And while the comment about not paying taxes drew a few laughs from some in attendance, it wasn’t a laughing matter for White after the news conference had wrapped.
The UFC president earlier in the week said he had come to expect things like Diaz skipping a pre-fight workout session for fans and the media on Wednesday. And he expects in-cage antics like the way Diaz taunted St-Pierre in the fight and even took a swing at him after the horn – which White said should have cost Diaz a point.
But the taxes thing? That one may have been a little hard for even White to see coming.
“What’s sad is, he better go pay his taxes,” White said. “He came out publicly tonight and said he’s never paid taxes in his life? Holy s—. That’s sad. You wanna talk about sad? That’s sad. Somebody better handle that with this check and make sure that kid doesn’t end up with nothing. There’s a guy who’s Nate and Nick’s lawyer and seems like a decent guy looking out for them. I’ll probably give this guy a call and tell him, ‘Nick said he’s never paid taxes in his life, and you probably want to start working on that f—ing Sunday morning, not Monday morning.’”
As White has done in the past, he said money shouldn’t be an issue for Diaz, especially after headlining a pay-per-view with St-Pierre, the UFC’s biggest box office draw.
“If you saw his paycheck tonight, you wouldn’t feel too bad for him,” White said. “At the end of the day, Nick has been in the sport forever. He wanted a shot at the title, he got a shot at the title, and he got paid a lot of money for it.”
If Diaz did choose to call it quits, he said it would be because he’s already had most of the fights he was looking for. But he added that the stress of being suspended for a year following his UFC 143 positive marijuana test after a loss to Carlos Condit played a factor in making him consider hanging up the gloves.
“I just feel like I fought everybody that I set out to fight,” Diaz said. “Johny (Hendricks) here, he’s a new guy. Jake (Ellenberger)’s been around for a little while. But I just feel like I’ve taken care of everything I wanted to do in the sport. This is hard stuff. I don’t ever get any time off. I’ve only had a year off one time, and it was a stressful year. I was pretty bent out of shape that I didn’t win that (Condit) fight. Nobody ever assured me, ‘They’re going to give you that (St-Pierre) fight.’ I was just sitting around depressed the whole year off. I can sit here and make a million excuses about why I wasn’t ready for the fight. But I want a rematch. I think I could beat you. I think I may be a better matchup for Anderson Silva, as well. But we’ll see what happens. I didn’t really have a good first round. I just think I could’ve been a little better prepared for this fight. I think next time, if I did get an extra shot, I think people would try to help me out a little bit.”
No one, of course, is counting on Diaz getting that extra shot against St-Pierre. Hendricks, with his win over Condit, has been granted the next shot at St-Pierre.
Diaz, with two straight losses, finds himself in interesting territory for who he would be matched up against, especially considering he already fought Condit just over a year ago. Diaz said if he doesn’t retire, he’d have to consider what a rematch with Condit might do for his career.
White said he thinks Diaz should keep fighting, but that if he’s having doubts, he might not be fully behind him staying in the sport.
“Do I think Nick Diaz should retire? No. But that’s not my decision,” White said. “When a guy starts talking about retirement in this sport, this isn’t baseball or basketball, not to diminish those sports, but if you head isn’t 100 percent in this game, it’s a completely different story. I don’t ever question a guy when he talks about retirement. I don’t care how good he is. If Georges St-Pierre called me up tomorrow and said I want to retire, I wouldn’t go, ‘Georges, come on – think about this.’ That’s their decision and I don’t ever question that. …
“We’ll see what happens from here on out. It’s not like I don’t know what to expect being in business with Nick Diaz.”
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