Some of you may have forgotten, but Jay Hieron (18-4) was scheduled to fight Nick Diaz (4:20) on the Cyborg vs. Carano card back in August. Hieron had, in fact, been promised that the fight would also be for the inaugural Strikeforce welterweight championship, and he had also taken the fight on short notice after Joe Riggs pulled out. Of course, this fight never happened because Diaz refused to submit to the mandatory pre-fight drug screening dictated by the California State Athletic Commission. Hieron instead earned his sixth straight victory in a unanimous decision over Jesse Taylor in a non-title bout, while Diaz was neither suspended nor fined by Strikeforce for his blatant torpedoing of the fight.
So you’re Jay Hieron. You signed for a title shot that you’ve yet to receive. Your fight, originally scheduled for five rounds against the biggest (only guy not named Joe Riggs?) name in Strikeforce’s 170 division, doesn’t even make it on Showtime. You’ve been patiently waiting for another crack at Diaz since then, you pull up Google Reader today, and what smacks you in the face but this:
According to MMA Weekly, Strikeforce’s January 30th event in Sunrise, Florida, will be headlined by Nick Diaz and Lithuanian head-kick-artist Marius Zaromskis battling for the organization’s vacant welterweight title… MMA Weekly points out that while the Florida State Boxing Commission (which oversees MMA in that state) prohibits performance enhancers and narcotic use, it doesn’t require a pre-fight test for “drugs of abuse,” and it doesn’t have any bylaws addressing “compassionate use.”
So you’re Nick Diaz. You just woke up, rolled over and fired up a fatty. You haven’t fought at 170 since July of 2008 against Thomas Denny, your last two fights were at catch weights against Frank Shamrock, perhaps the single most overrated fighter in the history of history, and Scott Smith, whom Ed Herman and Robbie Lawler ended before you did in the third. You still say that you beat Gomi and you don’t give a fuck what anyone else has to say about it. You also don’t really give a shit that you screwed both your bosses and your opponent when you skipped the pre-fight drug test, which is part of the reason you’re in Strikeforce, but then again, why should you? Not only did you get ANOTHER TITLE SHOT, you got it in a place that probably won’t even test you for weedies (the breakfast of champions). Why should you, Nick Diaz, do anything differently if this is how they treat you when you fuck up?
I guess this has to go down as one of the perks of being a big fish in a little pond. Coker’s got about five, six names to play with in his little organization, and apparently, keeping them happy is uber any semblance of fairness or decency to, oh I don’t know, the rest of the roster. If all things are proportional, Dan Henderson can mug children, Mousasi can slap waitresses and Fedor can get away with murder. Let’s not even start on Carano or Overeem – this post is getting long enough as it is, and we’re losing valuable time.
It reminds me of a selection from The Machine, a book about the Cincinnati Reds of the 1970’s:
The players would each remember Sparky Anderson’s spring training speech a little bit differently in later years, but everyone recalled his main point. He announced that the Machine was made up of two kinds of players. First, there were the superstars. To be more specific, Sparky said, there were four superstars — Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez. Those four made their own rules. Those four had no curfew. Those four had special privileges. If Johnny wanted to go golfing every so often during spring training, he could go. If Pete wanted to blow off some steam at the dog track, well, Sparky might give him a few extra bucks. If Joe needed to come in late so he could attend college classes, that was all right by Sparky. If Tony needed a little rest, then Sparky would fluff the pillow. Those four were royalty.
“The rest of you,” Sparky said, “are turds.”
Zaromskis/Diaz has all the makings of a barnburner, but that doesn’t make what happened to Jay all right. Coker and company treated him like a turd while fluffing Nick’s pillow, and I don’t like it.