I’m not quite sure what was more surprising, the fact that Nick Diaz (Pictured) actually showed up to a press conference in Canada, or that the controversial welterweight top contender was pleasant and engaging throughout Wednesday’s “beauty pageant.”
While Diaz hasn’t been shy about expressing his disdain for doing pre-fight promotional activities, enough to the point where he ditched back-to-back UFC 137 pressers that cost him a title shot against 170-pound king Georges St-Pierre, the 29-year-old appears to have matured during his year-long marijuana suspension.
“It’s not so bad once you’re here, but I’d rather not do it. I’ll survive, but it’s a little close to the fight to take off from home for me. It’s fine to be here,” Diaz said of his attendance. “I didn’t make it to the last press conference. It wasn’t very professional on my part. I just was ready to fight, I was ready to go to the fight and fight.
“I thought that was the important part, but I had to learn my lesson. There’s a lesson learned from this and I’m ready to fight.”
Diaz wasn’t short or agitated during the 40-minute gathering, as he has been in the past with the media. Ironically, despite not enjoying press conferences, Diaz is better at them than most of his peers. He’s certainly more entertaining, at least from the what-is-he-going-to-say-next perspective.
Speaking of unpredictable Diaz comments, although he called GSP “a little ******** not too many moons ago, Mr. 209 has now come to the realization that he has no qualms with the baddest 170-pounder in bare feet.
“At first, I had a lot of hard feelings because I’m like, ‘Hey, how come you’re not going to recognize me as the guy out here,’” Diaz revealed of his initial hatred towards St-Pierre. “I’m over here dropping names, running my mouth and I get no attention. It was frustrating. So, you just gotta work it right until you win the right fights and the people decide you’re the right guy. That was pretty much my issue before.
“I like [Georges] just fine. I maybe could have gotten this fight a little sooner, but I like him just fine.”
St-Pierre and Diaz collide in the most anticipated welterweight affair in MMA history at UFC 158. It will be interesting to see if Diaz maintains his revamped demeanor as game time draws near.