Nick Diaz wants what he feels he deserves.
The former Strikeforce champion, who will challenge Georges St. Pierre for the UFC welterweight crown in nine days at UFC 158, spoke at length during a Tuesday conference call about the perceived lack of attention and respect that he has received in spite of his accomplishments as a mixed martial artist.
At several points foregoing the traditional question-and-answer format, Diaz engaged the champion in a verbal sparring session, providing a series of real moments during a process typically known for rhetorical queries and canned responses. Here are some highlights from today’s call:
Diaz on how he is perceived: “I don’t get a lot of recognition for what I’m doing here. A lot of these guys are really important; they have red carpet events and magazines, and I coming in to whoop this guy’s ass. Nobody knows who I am. Well, I guess everybody does, but not as far as your mainstream magazines and all your good stuff. I’m left out of that. I just think that I should be given the credit I deserve. That makes me pretty angry.”
Diaz on St. Pierre’s much-discussed “dark place:” “I think he should just be himself and do his thing. I don’t know why he has to go to the dark side on this one. I don’t care. I’m not told about how they’re going to portray me or him. I’m not sitting around planning how I’m going to act or come off. Oh, I better say something intimidating or talk this s--- or that s---. I don’t know what he’s going through with the dark side or where he’s coming from, but I know where the f--- I’m from. I don’t have to dredge up some bulls--- to get everybody excited, but whatever. You gotta do what you gotta do.”
Diaz on St. Pierre and the media: “I don’t mind [addressing media] when I’m ready for it. I’ve got cameras following me around, and I don’t mind that either. I don’t care if there’s a camera crew in the backseat of my car. I could give a s---. I just don’t like when I’m not ready for it and don’t know about it. You’ve got Georges, and someone is over there powdering his nose and sending him off for a video shoot. He’s got someone making a Twitter for him. Now he doesn’t even know how to talk and act; he’s got people living his life for him in the public [forum].
“My life’s a mess. I’m not afraid to admit it. I work hard, regardless, but I don’t have people toweling me off and handing me water bottles left and right, paying for my training for me. I’ve got to do all that s--- on my own, and that’s why I have to concentrate that much harder, because I don’t have people taking care of my money or tax obligations. All that stuff that’s important that people don’t want to talk about. I’m just busy fighting all of your fights. I don’t see anybody else bringing s--- to the table.”
Diaz on MMA scoring and winning fights: “Everybody wants to be like GSP and overcome the technical aspect by being stronger and more explosive, and beating you to the punch in the scoring for five minutes. That’s not really what martial arts is about. This is MMA, and that’s what fans want to see. People want to see real skill level, real boxing and real jiu-jitsu mixed up. They don’t just want to see five minutes of holding.”
Diaz interrupting after a reporter asked St. Pierre if he was pampered: “I hope so, motherf-----. If I had that much money, I’d be pampering myself up and having mother-----s pampering my s--- left and right. Every hour, there’d be [someone] showing up to pamper me. That would be that.”
St. Pierre: “Let me tell you something, uneducated fool. Listen to me. I have not always been rich. I started from the bottom. I made myself and worked very hard to be where I am right now. I know you don’t believe this, because you didn’t succeed yet, and maybe you will never succeed in your life because I don’t think you’re smart enough to understand how you should [act] to reach that point.
“When you talk about people doing stuff for me... when you reach a point for your business, you need a team of people to work for you to make the economy, to keep the money rolling. You don’t know anything about me, man. You have no idea where I come from. You’re not the only jealous guy.”
Diaz: “That sounds nice, Georges. That sounds nice. If I wore some tight shorts out there and got a haircut and had someone buttering me up halfway through [my career] and telling me this bulls---, maybe it would have worked out. You don’t even know where I come from. I’m not jealous, OK? You did what you had to do. I don’t mean to be disrespectful. I don’t have anything against you, and I think you’ve done a great job for who you are and what you have to work with. So what if you’re pampered out? I don’t have anything against that. All I’m saying is that I hope so, motherf-----, because this is some f----d up s---. If I had the money and the right people on my side working with me to make sure I had my s--t ready, I would be doing it. But I’m over here still doing that s---. Try doing that s--- from when you’re 21 all the way until you’re 32, which you are now. It’s a bitch.”
St. Pierre: “If you are where you are right now, and I have what I have, that’s not my fault. That’s because of you, man. You did not succeed. It’s on you, man.”
Diaz: “I wasn’t pointing any fingers toward you or anything being your fault. The guy asked you a question about being pampered. Answer the f---ing question, then. That’s what this is about.”
St. Pierre: “I don’t even know what that means, that word. I don’t understand half of the words that you are saying, because your English is... I speak English better than you.”
Diaz: “You’re out of line, bro. You understand that?”
Diaz, interrupting, on St. Pierre’s “disrespectful human being” comment: “Why would you want to fight me, other than because I’m the No. 1 martial artist, not because I’m disrespectful. I deserve to get beat down? That’s what you said, right? Straight up, I don’t think you deserve to get beat down. I don’t think anybody deserves to get beat down. I’d like to win the fight.”
St. Pierre: “Do you seriously believe that I’m afraid of you, man?”
Diaz: “I seriously believe that you told that to the cameras, and you believe I deserve to be beat down for whatever I’ve done in my life. You let Dana say that I’m the most disrespectful human being you’ve ever met and I deserve to take an ass whooping?
“Check this out, motherf-----. I pulled up to a stoplight the other day, and some f---ing 40-year-old lady, some soccer mom, sticks her head out the window and says, ‘I hope GSP beats your ass.’ We’re in f---ing Lodi, b----. Are you serious? I’m living in a small town full of people who hate me over here. I’m trying to work my way up into a fight, and I’m the most disrespectful guy and deserve to have the s--- beat out of me? When you say something, everybody believes it, dude. Everybody wants to know what Georges thinks and what Georges says and wants to wear tight shorts like Georges and forget about jiu-jitsu and boxing.”
Listen to the audio of today’s UFC 158 conference call here.