Nick Diaz got the win (the biggest of his career as he dismantled B.J. Penn), his wish (a future title match against Georges St-Pierre)—but that still wasn’t enough to satisfy him Saturday night.
The brash welterweight went off on a rambling rant after UFC 137 in Mandalay Bay, talking about everything from how disappointed he was with his dominant performance against Penn (which the UFC legend likely said would be his last fight), to not being properly compensated for his efforts, to having to act up just to get the fight he was promised in the first place.
“See how I’ve got to come off just to get a fight?” Diaz said moments after UFC president Dana White announced that GSP would fight Diaz, not Carlos Condit, next for the 170-pound title during Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas.
“I’ve got to come off like that just to get a fight. I’ve got to be the bad guy. You want to point the finger, make me the bad guy. I’m the bad guy, and now I get to fight.”
Apparently Diaz’s goading of St-Pierre in the Octagon after his win (“I don’t think Georges is hurt. I think he’s scared.”) worked as White said the normally reserved St-Pierre flipped out.
“(Diaz is) the most disrespectful human being I’ve ever met. I’m going to put the worst beating you’ve ever seen on him in the UFC,” GSP told White.
So there it is, the fight that was supposed to headline UFC 137 between Diaz and GSP — before Diaz lost his spot in the main event by no-showing back-to-back mandatory press conferences, or before a knee injury to St-Pierre took him out and forced Diaz to fight his friend in Penn — is back on.
So everyone’s happy, right?
Nope. Not Diaz.
“There’s not enough money in this sport,” continued Diaz during one of the more bizarre press conference in UFC history, where he said he wants to be compensated like boxer Floyd Mayweather.
“I think that if I was making a tiny piece of that that everybody I know would be compensated — everybody I know, including my family. They’re not taking care of me because they’re not compensated. My sparring partners, they’re not getting paid like they should. That’s why nobody wants any part of this. Nobody wants to help me train if they’re not getting anything out of it, and I don’t blame them.”
The usually outspoken White actually allowed Diaz to continue, which he did complaining about his living and training conditions in his hometown of Stockton, Calif.
“I run by hundreds of these huge houses with these big yards and fountains everywhere,” Diaz said. “And then these people have their little picnic patio outside and a little pool, all this stuff. Then I take a little circle around and go back into my neighborhood where my car gets robbed. I’ve got some dude out in front of my house looking for cigarette butts or something where some friends might have left some. It’s ridiculous.”
But as ridiculous as Diaz’s comments and logic became late Saturday night, White knows the 28-year-old is on the verge of superstardom.
“He blew up out of nowhere,” White said of Diaz. “Part of it is his attitude and I think people love real fighters. That kid is definitely a real fighter.”
And once again, Diaz has the fight he’s always wanted. What happens next though, is anyone’s guess.
Penn announces retirement?
Moments after his loss to Diaz, a bloodied and battered Penn told UFC announcer Joe Rogan he was retiring from the sport.
“Nick’s the man. I think it’s the last time you’ll see me in here,” Penn said. “I want to compete at the top level. That’s it.”
“I’ve got a daughter. I don’t want to go home looking like this.”
At the postfight press conference, White said he wasn’t sure if the 32-year-old Penn—the former lightweight and welterweight champ, who has a 16-8-2 career MMA record—would reconsider his position after thinking about it.
“B.J. is a warrior. What happened to him tonight has never happened to him in his entire career,” White said. “What he’s thinking tonight he might not think eight weeks from now.
“It might be or it might not be (The Prodigy’s last fight). That’s up to him. I don’t know.”
Cro Cop calls it a career
In what very well could have been his last UFC match if he lost because of his two previous setbacks, Las Vegas native Roy Nelson instead sent MMA legend Mirko (Cro Cop) Filipovic into retirement via a third-round TKO.
“Everybody give it up to Cro Cop. It was awesome to beat a legend,” said the heavily-bearded Nelson, who looked to be in big trouble in the second round when Filipovic caught him with a flush shot and landed two dozen more blows, but Nelson came back in the third with a pair of staggering right-hands that set up his finishing punches.
The former Croatian police officer expressed his regret to fans that he couldn’t complete in the UFC at the same level he did when he was a superstar in PRIDE.
“Like I said earlier, this is going to be my farewell fight—unfortunately it didn’t end the way I wanted,” said Cro Cop, as the crowd gave him a standing ovation.
“The UFC has been so good to me over the years and it is hard to leave this company and this sport. Even though I didn’t do as well in the UFC as the rest of my career, I feel like I did everything that I could to have an overall successful career.”
UFC 137 Results
Welterweight (170 pounds) — Nick Diaz defeated B.J. Penn by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-28).
Heavyweight (265) — Cheick Kongo def. Matt Mitrione by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-28, 29-28).
Heavyweight (265) — Roy Nelson def. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic by TKO (1:30-Round 3).
Bantamweight (135) — Scott Jorgensen def. Jeff Curran by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
Featherweight (145) — Hatsu Hioki def. George Roop by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Lightweight (155) — Donald Cerrone def. Dennis Siver by submission (rear-naked choke, 2:22-Round 1).
Catchweight (148) — Bart Palaszewski def. Tyson Griffin by TKO (2:45-Round 1).
Light heavyweight (205) — Brandon Vera def. Eliot Marshall by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Lightweight (155) — Ramsey Nijem def. Danny Downes by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-27).
Middlweight (185) — Francis Carmont def. Chris Camozzi by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27).
Middlweight (185) — Clifford Starks def. Dustin Jacoby by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).