Nick Diaz has a message for those who think he is insolent: It’s not me. It’s you.
“It’s disrespectful people don’t think I’m important,” Diaz said in a bizarre rant during the UFC 158 conference call Thursday afternoon.
Diaz will meet welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre in the main event for the title. The pay-per-view event is scheduled for next Saturday at Montreal’s Bell Centre.
Both fighters were on the call, as was UFC President Dana White. They were joined by Carlos Condit, Johny Hendricks, Jake Ellenberger and Nate Marquardt. Condit will meet Hendricks, while Ellenberger will fight Marquardt in the semi-main events of the welterweight-heavy card. Tickets are available at the Bell Centre box office. Prices range from $85 to $600.
“I don’t get a lot of recognition for what I set out to accomplish,” Diaz said. “Nobody knows who I am. [I] just think I should be given the [mainstream] credit I deserve. That makes me pretty angry. I’m disrespectful because I want the acknowledgement.”
White has criticized Diaz in the past for not working with the UFC to generate media coverage for his fights.
Diaz and St. Pierre were scheduled to meet at UFC 137 but the fight was cancelled after Diaz missed press conferences. White told reporters during the UFC 157 postfight press conference that Diaz and his brother, Nate, who fights in the UFC lightweight division, had passed on three interviews with in-house television producers for the UFC Primetime series.
White opened the call by noting the media relations staff was looking for Diaz, who apologized for running late.
“I like [media coverage] just fine,” Diaz said. “I don’t like when I’m not ready for it.”
He does sound ready for the long-awaited fight. Diaz is 26-8-1 all time but 7-4-0 in UFC. Half of Diaz’s 26 wins have come via knockout.
“[You] can’t underestimate his standup. He knocks people out,” White said. “The champ wanted this fight.”
It showed as the two verbally sparred throughout the call.
Diaz wondered why St. Pierre (23-2-0 all-time; 18-2-0 in the UFC) would not look past him to a potential superfight with UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. St. Pierre said he “didn’t care about it at all. [I’m] not looking past Nick Diaz. I respect my opponent” when asked about his interest in a fight with Silva.
Silva is scheduled to meet Long Island’s Chris Weidman in a title fight at UFC 162 in Las Vegas, Nev. in July. UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey is tentatively scheduled to fight the winner of the Cat Zingano-Miesha Tate bout on that card.
St. Pierre’s irritation spilled over after Diaz repeatedly suggested he was “pampered” and had people do things for him. St. Pierre admitted he has people who tweet for him when asked about a series of twitter messages about his “dark side.”
“Let me tell you something, uneducated fool. I started from the bottom. I worked very hard to get to where I am,” St. Pierre said. “[You] didn’t succeed yet. [Maybe you won’t succeed because you’re] not smart enough to reach that point.
“You need a team [to help you out when you reach a certain level of stardom].”
Responded Diaz: “I’m not a disrespectful human being.”
Follow UFC writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.