Nick Diaz – Always The Center Of Attention
Thoughts on Nick Diaz and how, despite not wanting it, he always draws attention to himself for things he does before and after the bell.
Nick Diaz loves to hate fighting. He loves the fighting aspect of things, but hates everything else that goes along with it. He doesn’t like people constantly focussing on him or asking him questions. He just wants to train, fight from bell to bell, and then get back to training so he can fight from bell to bell again.
So if that’s what Nick Diaz really wants to do, why does he always make himself the center of attention?
Following his loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143 this past weekend, Diaz announced his retirement from fighting, claiming that he didn’t actually lose and that he didn’t need this shit anymore. Instead of letting Condit soak in his (interim) championship moment, Diaz brought the spotlight on himself by saying that he was going to step away from the sport at the age of 28 and seemingly on top of his game.
This isn’t the first time Diaz has done something post-fight that made everyone talk about him and not the actual fight when the night was over.
When he lost three straight decisions to Diego Sanchez, Joe Riggs, and Sean Sherk, he discredited his opponents and wouldn’t accept those losses either. He even went as far to fight Riggs in the hospital after the event. After scoring the biggest win of his career against Takanori Gomi, Diaz tested positive for marijuana, putting an asterisk on a great fight and turning a great victory into a no contest.
In Elite XC, Diaz made such a fuss about cutting weight that they made 160 lbs the lightweight limit just so he didn’t have to cut the extra five pounds. When he lost to K.J. Noons for the vacant Elite XC lightweight title due to a doctor stoppage at the end of the first round, Diaz cursed up and a storm and flipped off Noons and everyone watching as he walked to his locker room. The night became about Diaz and his antics, not about Noons and his victory.
After fighting in Japan, Diaz returned to EliteXC and missed weight by nine pounds against Muhsin Corbbrey. He defeated Corbbrey and on the same night, Noons defeated Yves Edwards in the main event in front of his friends and family in Hawaii. Diaz came out during Noons’s post-fight interview and started a brawl with K.J. and his family. The night should have been about Noons, his title defense against Edwards, and his return home. Instead it was about Diaz and the post-fight brawl.
When Elite XC went under, Diaz was scooped up by Strikeforce. Besides some pre-fight trash talking and sign language, Nick was actually on his best behavior. There was the incident where he failed to obtain a license to fight Jay Hieron by missing a pre-fight drug test, but that was pretty minor compared to what would come next for the Stockton bad boy.
At the Strikeforce: Nashville event, in the main event, Diaz’s teammate Jake Shields scored the biggest victory of his career on CBS when he defeated Dan Henderson. Jason Miller interrupted Shields’s post-fight interview, which led to Diaz sticking up for his friend, thus starting a post-fight brawl that got Strikeforce all but officially kicked off CBS and Diaz suspended and fined.
Diaz headed to Japan to stay active during his U.S. suspension. When he returned to Strikeforce, he kept up a war of words with Miller, but the fight never materialized. Cleaning out the Strikeforce welterweight division, Diaz got the call from the UFC.
Scheduled to face Georges St. Pierre in the main event of UFC 137, Diaz was pulled from the fight after missing a couple of pre-fight press conferences and moved to the co-main event against BJ Penn while Condit was slotted to face St. Pierre. Unfortunately GSP was injured in training, thus postponing the Condit vs. St. Pierre fight. After boxing up Penn and winning a decision, Diaz called out St. Pierre for faking an injury and ducking him. His tirade upset the welterweight champion so much that he wanted to push Condit aside so he could fight Diaz. Instead of
GSP was injured once again though, leaving Condit and Diaz to do battle this past weekend. As mentioned, after the event was over, the talk was about Diaz, his lack of adjustments, and his retirement and not about Condit and his victory. His retirement was short lived though and his whining paid off as he’s now been granted a rematch with Condit.
I don’t think it’s calculated by Nick to always be the center of attention but it is a shame that so many people give him a free pass and chalk it up to, “Nick being Nick.” As Adam Carolla has said, when you describe someone as being themselves instead of using actual adjectives, you’re usually just saying that they’re an asshole but they’ve always been that way and you like them, so you tolerate them.
I like Nick Diaz, but his act is growing old. If you just want to fight, then just fight. Take the Bill Belichick approach and don’t say anything of importance before or after the fight, just do the job you’re paid too much but not enough to do. Don’t discredit your opponents, it just makes you look less skilled for losing to them and don’t get into post-fight scuffles, because it just takes away from what happened in the actual fight.
If Diaz is truly done with MMA (he isn’t) then he’d probably make a pretty good publicist because he’s great at getting people talking about him. Hell, I should probably be writing a column about Carlos Condit, his performance, and his future. Instead I’m writing about Nick Diaz, who may have just fought his last fight on Saturday (he didn’t).
They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity and, whether he intends to or not, Diaz gets publicity.