“I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting that you really believe what you just said.”
― William F. Buckley Jr.
One has to love Nick Diaz in a certain way outside of the cage. Inside of it he’s a live wire, always looking to finish and bringing a fundamentally flawed but exciting style that has managed to make him among the elite of the welterweight division. Outside of it, though, Diaz earns as much dislike and disrespect as he does admiration because of the things he does. In a way he’s MMA’s Mike Tyson; you could tell me he’s taking time off from the sport to raise unicorns for an underground fighting league of magical animals and most fans would believe him. Diaz, though, made headlines in the lead up to his fight against George St. Pierre by boldly proclaiming that he was fighting against the “bull-shit” of MMA.
And after losing a fairly one-sided beating to GSP, a listless Diaz has opted to retire from the sport for a second time unless he gets one of two conditions: a rematch against GSP or a shot at middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Other than that he’s going to stay retired, of course, because Diaz wants nothing more to do with MMA outside of these two fights. And it would make sense, as well, because either fight will be significantly more lucrative than a fight against Rory MacDonald, Martin Kampmann or any other contender in the division who’d be on his level. He’s playing a game of chicken with Zuffa and GSP, hoping to get another payday out of all this similar to the one he just had.
The fight with GSP is rumored to have come somewhere between 800,000 and 1.1 million PPV buys and a rematch, while not nearly as lucrative, would have to be near that number. A fight with Silva, who isn’t nearly the PPV draw that GSP is, would still probably make him a decent amount of money for what could be a very interesting fight. Unfortunately he doesn’t deserve or warrant either fight … and frankly the UFC needs to call his bluff and let him stay home and not fight.
Nick Diaz has gotten to where he has in MMA in spite of himself, not because of his talents. At 29 he still has plenty of high level fights in him, as he could be a contender (if not hold the belt outright if GSP retires as early as he’s planned) for at least the next five years or so. But for all his bluster and being perceived as the “truth teller of MMA” by some mouth-breathing fans he hasn’t admitted one thing he never will: he doesn’t deserve either fight he’s asked for.
If the GSP fight had been close, or a controversial decision, it’d be one thing. The UFC has been pretty good at setting up rematches as warranted. But the Nick Diaz we saw take on GSP was listless and boring, unable to mount any offense and taken apart by a champion who didn’t bring his A-game. It was a boring main event and Diaz didn’t look the part of the “best welterweight in the world not named GSP” that many had proclaimed him to be.
He looked like just another out-matched competitor, nothing more, and lost in a similar fashion to Dan Hardy. There was nothing remarkable about that loss and if Diaz and his handlers think because the Quebec Athletic Commission may have screwed things up a smidge he’s still the rightful challenger then he has another thing coming. Nick Diaz isn’t the rightful anything and if he wants another title shot, one that GSP held up Zuffa for mind you, he’s going to have cut the bull-shit from his own camp and earn it the old fashioned way.