And no, it isn’t the “dipping your toe into boxing” game. It’s trying to strong-arm Dana White:
A press release issued today announced that the Strikeforce welterweight champion has signed to fight former IBF champion Jeff Lacy in the fall of this year.
Yet Diaz’s representative today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the fighter is willing to forgo a trip to the ring in the event that a fight materializes with welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
“Barring something like (UFC president) Dana White telling us, ‘Hey, we really need you to fight GSP at such-and-such a date and it conflicts with [boxing] – barring that, we’re going to fight Lacy,” said Diaz manager and trainer Cesar Gracie.
This is probably the biggest shot a fighter has delivered across the UFC’s bow since Randy tried to take on Zuffa’s terrifying squad of lawyers and get a fight with Fedor Emelianenko. We all know how that worked out. The message being sent by Cesar Gracie and Nick Diaz should be crystal clear to a guy like Dana White: offer Nick Diaz a tasty check and a fight with Georges St. Pierre and this boxing business goes away quietly. Play it cheap and one of the star draws in the promotion you just bought fucks off to the land of Queensbury Rules, giving you a massive promotional headache in the process. Such a strategy might have worked before the Zuffa buyout of Strikeforce, but now they’ve put themselves into the arena with a guy that takes this kind of shit personally. This is a fact that Nick Diaz and his management have made a critical error in overlooking.
The logical reaction would be for Dana to pony up the money and give Diaz what he wants. Which he was probably ready to do anyways. But now the gauntlet has been thrown down, and we all know with 99.9% certainty that Dana’s reaction will be something along the lines of “ ” target=”_blank”>Fuck that fucking motherfucker. I run this fucking business. He can rot in Strikeforce for the next two years.” Dana may not be able to stop Diaz from boxing, but he can definitely stop him from fighting in the UFC and having a meaningful MMA career. This will end badly.