Chaotic Run Up To UFC 158 Continues; Nick Diaz Says Georges St. Pierre And UFC Are Selling “Wolf Tickets”, Tells Champ “You Haven’t Fought No Hitters”
GSP Relays “You’ll See Saturday If I’m Scared”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Last week, Nick Diaz dominated the UFC 158 media call to promote his bout this Saturday with welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre, and once again the emotional challenger took center stage at today’s press conference in Montreal. Diaz wasted no time this afternoon voicing his disapproval how he’s been portrayed leading into UFC 158, and his resentment towards St. Pierre for saying he “needs to get beat down”. At the same time, Diaz also appeared to go out of his way to antagonize the champion, and on a couple of occasions, it seemed to work.
“They’re making me out to be the villain; I fit the description of the evil villain,” said Diaz, who repeated that he missed yesterday’s open workouts due to fatigue, and his desire to rest up for this week’s various events. “Georges fits the description of the good guy.”
Heading into UFC 158, Diaz has argued that he hasn’t been disrespectful towards St. Pierre, and has passed off his 2011 accusation that the injured champion was avoiding a bout with him, as a way to secure the March 16th fight. While Diaz may feel that way, today’s press conference included several comments and exchanges, which one certainly wouldn’t label as “amicable.”
“They like to make me look like the bad guy,” Diaz furthered, in response to one of the many questions that focused on the challenger’s reputation and past, rather than Saturday’s fight itself. “Georges likes to say that I remind him of the bullies that picked on him growing up? How many times have you had a gun put to your head George? How many of your best friends have been shot through the chest with a 45?”
“I don’t want to see anybody hurt; I don’t think anyone out here working towards greatness deserves to be beatdown,” Diaz added, while returning to his contention that St. Pierre’s apparent anger towards him isn’t warranted.
St. Pierre also attempted to fall back to the position that he’s kept heading into the bout, that his desire to fight Diaz is because of his record and skillset, and not because of Diaz’s previous statements. It’s a narrative he’s continued despite reportedly asking UFC President Dana White for a bout with the “disrespectful” fighter.
“I’m sure my past doesn’t compare to Nick,” St. Pierre conceded. “I’m not sure why we’re even asking this question. The reason why we’re fighting each other is because I believe Nick is the number one guy.”
“Ya, but you told the fans that I deserve to get beat down and that I was chasing you,” Diaz interrupted, before St. Pierre replied “You told the fans I was scared of you.” The challenger then informed the media that St. Pierre and the UFC are selling “wolf tickets, and you’re eating them right up.”
If the presser had ended there, then one could be left with the impression that perhaps, the animosity between St. Pierre and Diaz is all based on baggage that’s no longer relevant. Diaz accused GSP of ducking him to get a title fight. While that may not have sat well with the champion and his fans, perhaps it’s time to move on if there’s no other source of contention? It wasn’t long, however, before Diaz took aim at St. Pierre once again.
“I tell you what bro, I was out there fighting the hitters; you haven’t fought no hitters,” said Diaz. “I’m the one risking brain damage, getting smashed out, these guys are coming out trying to wrestle you out, and then you take punches and start quitting early…I say Jake Shields won the fight and I think Carlos (Condit) did too.”
“Do you really think I’m afraid of you? That I’m scared of you?” A clearly agitated St. Pierre said at one point. “Are you crazy in the head man? I’m not scared of you and you’ll see Saturday if I’m scared of you.”
Diaz even went on to raise the steroids issue, and while he didn’t directly accuse St. Pierre of taking PEDs, the challenger questioned “we’ll see who they test for steroids or what.” It was another heated exchange that was followed by both men eventually returning to a more civil tone…
The good news is that the two will fight Saturday night in Montreal, Quebec, and the punches, kicks and grappling that will take place, will likely be far less confusing than what’s unfolded in recent days.