Dana White Compliments The “New” Nick Diaz
In an interview with MMA Junkie, Dana White praised Nick Diaz for showing up Wednesday to the press and fan event at Montreal’s Bell Centre, which hosts the March 16 UFC 158. Diaz (26-8 MMA, 7-5 UFC) will fight welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (23-2 MMA, 17-2 UFC) at the event.
Diaz missed two news conferences for a fight with GSP at UFC 137 which caused White to pull him from the fight and replace him with Carlos Condit. Diaz was suspended for the past year after failing a post-fight drug test at UFC 143. Diaz was put in a fight with BJ Penn, who he defeated. Meanwhile GSP was forced out of his fight with Condit due to a knee injury. Both Diaz and GSP wanted to fight each other, but GSP’s knee injury was aggravated and this resulted in Condit vs Diaz at UFC 143 for the interim belt, which Condit won. After that, Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites and was suspended for a year.
On how Diaz acted: “Not only did Nick come, he was on time for everything – I’m pretty sure he didn’t miss any flights. He couldn’t have been cooler. He came there and did what he had to do. He even stuck around and did pictures with the fans after. It was cool.”
On knowing Diaz hates doing media events: “I know he hates to do it, but everybody does. You guys have no idea. These guys are in their camp, they’re in their own little world, and then they’ve gotta leave and do all the press and media and it’s hard. That sounds stupid, but it’s harder than people think. You’re answering the same questions over and over. But it’s what we do. It’s part of the game, and everybody wants to talk about making Floyd Mayweather money, but Floyd works his ass off to promote a fight.”
On if Diaz learned his lesson: “I don’t want to say that he learned a lesson, like, ‘Yeah, we taught him a lesson.’ I think a lot of what he said at the press conference is true. I think he had this feeling like he’s been fighting since he was 18 years old, he never caught a break, always felt like he was on the wrong side of the deal since he was 18 years old. He’s had a year off, feels like he rested up, healed up some injuries and had some time to relax.”