MONTREAL — Saturday night will merely be an encore. Whatever Nick Diaz does in his fight with Georges St-Pierre will only add to the theater of the absurd he’s provided all week in the leadup to UFC 158.
On Wednesday, Nick neglected to show up for the open workouts the fight promotion schedules prior to its events to get fans up close and personal with the athletes, and his absence overshadowed all of the fighters who bothered to be there.
On Thursday, he livened up a monotonous pre-fight press conference at the Bell Centre by spewing more of the incomprehensible babble we’ve been hearing from him ever since the St-Pierre fight was announced. And by baiting the welterweight champion into a repeat performance of the acrimonious exchange they had last week during a conference call with members of the media.
On Friday, Diaz jutted a sharp elbow toward GSP as they squared off after weighing in, prompting UFC president Dana White to jump into harm’s way to ensure the fighters didn’t get physical until it was time to get physical in front of a paying audience.
Diaz is an endlessly entertaining fighter, but even the best of what he does inside the cage can’t measure up to the head-shaking amusement he provides, often unintentionally, outside the cage.
However, some things the guy says and does just aren’t funny.
Following the Thursday press conference, Diaz went on a sports talk radio show broadcast across Canada and accused GSP of doping. He’d made some veiled references at the press conference that connected the champion and performance-enhancing drugs. But during his appearance on Sportsnet Radio, he was blunt in his accusation. “I believe that he is on plenty of steroids, and I don’t think they test around here, either,” Diaz said. “I doubt I’ll be tested as well. I don’t care what they’re saying or marketing to the media. I don’t think either of us are going to be tested. And if so, he’s probably got a bottle of piss in his pocket. I doubt they’re standing over him making sure he’s not on steroids.”
It wasn’t just St-Pierre whom Diaz was assailing there. He basically was saying the athletic commission in Quebec is complicit. And he went on to lump the UFC into the conspiracy, too. Asked if Dana White & Co. would let St-Pierre get away with steroid use, Nick said, “Sure. Why not?”
Any other person making such claims without a shred of evidence would be taken to task. When Diaz does it, though, it’s just Nick being Nick.
White didn’t even mention Diaz, in fact, when he later found himself defending his welterweight champ against an out-of-the-blue allegation of steroid use. “Never been busted for anything,” the UFC president said of GSP during a conversation with reporters following the press conference. “Guy’s fought a million times in title fights, and mostly guys in title fights are the ones who get tested. He’s never tested positive for anything even close.”
The peculiar irony about Diaz’s accusation? During the radio interview, Nick was asked about his own experience with drug testing. He’s twice been popped for marijuana and just finished serving a one-year suspension, so it was a legitimate question. But when asked if he could guarantee he’ll test clean this weekend, Diaz said, “Hell, no, I’m not guaranteeing anything.”