Nick Diaz Retirement? Why the Show Needs to End One Way or Another
After losing to welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre via unanimous decision at UFC 158, Nick Diaz told Joe Rogan he was considering retirement for the second time after as many fights. There were not many who took this claim seriously, and rightly so.
Not long after stating he may retire, Diaz was back to his pre-fight, trash-talking self. During an interview with journalist Ariel Helwani on Fuel TV, the former Strikeforce welterweight champion said he wanted a rematch and claimed GSP punches like a girl.
Diaz is one of the best trash talkers in the game, but reaction to these latest claims of retirement and jibes toward GSP indicate the show is getting old, fast.
What we may have seen from Diaz was someone coping badly with losing the biggest fight of his career, something which cannot be ruled out.
He said he did not want to make excuses but this was often followed by excuses, which during the post-fight press conference reached a point of blaming poor preparations and some indirect criticism of his own team.
Nick Diaz said: "I felt like everybody knew I had it (the title fight with St-Pierre) coming. Cesar knew I had it coming, everybody knew I had it coming and then as soon as I had it coming, nobody was around to help me."
In the press conference, which he was 30 minutes late for, he told St-Pierre in person he thinks he can beat him and wants a rematch, plus reiterated the champion hits like a girl. A statement many at the press conference laughed at, but also confused media and fans alike seeing as only a short time ago he was embracing GSP and raising his hand.
It is this hypocrisy, among other things, which is changing Diaz from the fighter people love to hate, to the one they just hate. His pre-fight talk and his taunts during fights have entertained a lot of fans, but during this GSP-Diaz saga, it went a bit too far.
The turning point was the end of Round 3, when Diaz, from his back, hit the dominant St-Pierre after the round had clearly ended. He was not penalised, but UFC president Dana White stated post-fight he feels Diaz should have been deducted a point.
This action angered those who had previously been on the fence regarding Diaz, and when you add his post-fight comments and his desperate attempts to make headlines, it was a bad night for his image, even for Nick Diaz.
The show now needs to end. Whether it is through retirement, or an adjustment to how he represents himself, the current Nick Diaz act is on a path of self-destruction.
Diaz is undoubtedly one of the most exciting fighters when in the cage and is currently a big draw for the UFC, but how long can this last? Fans and media are seeing the cracks as the this veteran of the sport displays signs of insanity in repeating previous call-outs and insults over and over.
Fans, media, and even Dana White do not want him to retire, but may be this is what Nick Diaz needs rather than wants.
During the entertaining post-fight press conference Nick Diaz claimed he has never paid his taxes, something which trainer Cesar Gracie denied on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. Gracie did say, however, Diaz needs to get his stuff in order. A theme which also cropped up in Dana White's media scrum.
This need to get his personal matters in order is why retirement, at least as a temporary option, could be what Diaz needs.
A potential of three fights a year, plus all the media demands, is a dominating distraction. A break from the sport would provide Diaz with a chance to effectively organise his life. Once he has done this, we could see Diaz return with the same no-nonsense attitude, but without the added insanity.
If retirement is not the road taken, then it is a matter of holding back on some of the trash talk and concentrate on entertaining fans in the cage like he has done for so many years and working toward more success.
Easier said than done when years of media attention and pressure has taken its toll on a fighter who is renowned for being camera shy.