TORONTO - Two strikes and Nick Diaz is out.
After ditching a press event to hype his scheduled fight with UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre Tuesday in Toronto, the former Strikeforce titleholder put on a repeat performance in Las Vegas Wednesday and has been kicked out of the UFC 137 main event.
“When has Nick Diaz not been weird?” UFC president Dana White said at the press conference. “You guys have interviewed Nick before. Who in the room is really shocked and horrified? Who can’t believe this is happening right now?
“Nick Diaz obviously can’t handle the pressure of a main event of this magnitude.
“He flew out and signed a contract and said to my face that he was going to do whatever we wanted him to do. We’re not asking him to do anything Georges St. Pierre isn’t doing.
“It’s beyond comprehension.”
In order to promote the fight, St. Pierre had to take time off from his training camp. He admitted to being frustrated by Diaz’s lack of professionalism.
“I was upset when he didn’t show up in Toronto, but I didn’t know what was going on,” St. Pierre said. “When I first heard, I thought something happened — like someone died.
“For me not to show up to something like this, it would have to be pretty bad. But I would still tell the UFC. We’re partners; you have to tell you partner. It’s insane. I don’t know.
“He didn’t do his job. That’s why all this is going on.”
White spoke with Diaz over the phone prior to the Toronto event and was assured he’d make it on time. After the Stockton, Calif. native failed to show, White contacted his coach, Cesar Gracie, only to find out he’d gone completely MIA.
“Cesar Gracie had him in his house and he snuck out Cesar’s back door,” White said. “Cesar is looking all over town for him. I even called Nate Diaz and he was like, ‘Oh well, yeah.’
“If I knew this was going to happen, I would have never made the fight. Georges St. Pierre flew down to Toronto for a whole day to promote a fight that’s never going to happen.”
With Diaz out, former WEC welterweight champion and St. Pierre training partner Carlos Condit will get the golden opportunity.
“I’m not thinking about Nick Diaz anymore; I’m thinking about Condit,” St. Pierre said. “It happened a few minutes ago and I need to rearrange my camp.”
After losing a close split-decision to Martin Kampmann at Fight Night 18 in his UFC debut over two years ago, Condit has won his last four fights. The streak includes knockout victories over Rory MacDonald, Dan Hardy and Dong Hyun Kim.
St. Pierre said Condit brings more to the table than Diaz.
“I believe Condit has way more power and diversity of attack. I was happy to fight Nick Diaz because he was saying a lot of things about me. He was a champion in another organization and it was a kind of unification match.
“I think if Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit were to fight, I’d put my money on Condit.”
Though relations are now strained between the two parties, White said he won’t rule out doing business with Diaz in the future. And while Diaz made for an exciting style matchup for St. Pierre, White said Condit makes for a stellar opponent.
“I have thick skin,” White said. “I get over s--- quick. I like the Condit fight. If I didn’t have another fight to make, I’d be pissed.”
Condit was originally scheduled to face B.J. Penn on the card. White admitted he isn’t sure if the former lightweight and welterweight champion will remain on the card. In fact, as of the press conference, White still hadn’t told him about the change.
“B.J. doesn’t know yet,” White said. “We’re going to have one pissed off Hawaiian.”