MONTREAL -- The big news was that Nick Diaz showed up. Believe it or not, this was a concern after the challenger skipped Wednesday’s open workouts in Montreal. And after, you know, his history of sort of not showing up.
“Well it was either I miss that, or I miss this, but I was going to have to catch up on some sleep,” he explained right off the bat at the press conference to promote his title fight against Georges St-Pierre. His flight from Northern California touched down in Quebec at midnight Tuesday evening. Wednesday was no good for him, but by Thursday, he was at last refreshed and ready to talk.
And talk he did. Diaz careened off into subject matter that ranged from sweating out toxic water, to his outdated likeness on the UFC 158 promo posters, to point deductions being handed out for stalling and holding guys down (some psychology aimed at St-Pierre), to the UFC selling wolf tickets (“they’re selling you all wolf tickets and you people are eating them right up”).
Snake oil was never mentioned. But had it have been, it would have fit right in. “Diazisms” were a dime a dozen. St-Pierre, whose own distaste for press conferences and the redundancy of the questions was barely contained, fired back once in a while. But most questions were directed at Diaz and Dana White, who was looking down at him with a red, muted face as if to interject (or destroy him via telepathy).
Meanwhile, Carlos Condit, Jake Ellenberger and Nate Marquardt, all on the card and present, never said a word. Marquardt smiled and chuckled along with the media. Ellenberger might as well have had laryngitis. As for Condit, he did roll his eyes at one point when Diaz went off on yet another tangent.
Actually, hey, let me get out the way and post a couple of those tangential highlights. My thoughts follow in italics.
“I would like to put out the best image I could. To be honest with you I think a lot of times they make me out to be the evil guy. I fit the description of the evil villain. I think Georges fits the description of a good guy. I mean, look at my poster. No offense, but [the UFC] has had plenty of time to switch my poster. That picture of me is from years ago. Can I get one buttered up, photoshop picture on a poster?”
It’s true. The poster features a younger Nick Diaz, who is mean-mugging more than entirely necessary. Come to think of it, he has a legitimate beef here.
–- “Georges likes to say I remind him of the bullies that picked on him growing up. How many times did you have a gun to your head, Georges? How many times has somebody put a gun to your head? How many of your best friends have been shot through the chest with a .45? How many of your friends have been stomped and put to sleep in a coma? How many kids put gum in your hair?”
He reiterated a form of this in an ESPN interview. The guess here is GSP can count on one hand how many times he’s had gum put in his hair.
–- “Georges here is selling wolf tickets. Dana here is selling wolf tickets. The UFC is selling you some wolf tickets. You guys are eating them right up.”
Wolf tickets are now out-hashtagging GSP’s dark place on Twitter.
Meanwhile, White, who curtailed some of the “antagonism” headed Diaz’s way and had a semi-heated moment with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani, did a good job of reminding everyone of why we were here.
“All the stuff that leads up to this thing, all the selling of wolf tickets, all the things that happen leads up to this fight -- there is going to be a fight Saturday night.”
Condit done with being cautious
There was a moment at UFC 154 when it looked like Condit was going to break the heart of Montreal when he rocked St-Pierre. It was only for about 90 seconds or so of a 25-minute fight, but it was enough to bring him to a realization: Should he get that rematch with St-Pierre, he’ll go for broke.
“In [the St-Pierre fight], I think I hesitated,” he told ESPN.com. “Sometimes I was a little bit gun shy. I just need to go back to letting it all hang out, leaving everything in the cage, and really just focusing on what I bring to the table as opposed to training for the other guy’s strengths.”
When asked if he can let it all hang out against a smasher like Johny Hendricks, who has an anvil for a left hand, Condit thought about it for a quick second before answering.
“I can, but I just have to be smart,” he said.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto asked Diaz if he changed anything in his use of medical marijuana after what happened last time (when he tested positive for metabolites in Nevada, and was suspended for a year).
“I think I tested for metabolite, or nanogram, or something,” he said. “I just did a little more than I did last time, so sorry if I don’t pass the test -- but I think it should work out. I’ve passed plenty of them before, unless they just weren’t testing me. I wonder how much they test people around here.”
Then he shot St-Pierre a strong, insinuating glance. What does it all mean? Not even remotely sure. But “it should work out” didn’t exactly come off like reassurance to the boss who was standing right next to him.
(White mentioned later in the media scrum that, should Diaz test positive for marijuana again, he would “probably” be cut).
Diaz’s younger brother Nate, who will be in Nick’s corner on Saturday night, was at the press conference and speaking to media. Somebody brought up the incestuous matchmaking methods of the Canadian promotion MFC, which recently booked a fight between brothers Thomas and Mike Treadwell.
Since we all know Nate Diaz is a “Diaz brother” and not just Nick’s brother, he was asked about his thoughts on that.
“That kind of makes me sick, when you think about it. Guys fighting each other, and they’re brothers? They’re a bunch of idiots as far as I’m concerned. It’s ridiculous. Do they even know each other?”