Morning Report: Nick Diaz blames UFC's late night flight for open workouts no-show

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

I won't sit here and wax poetic about Nick Diaz's absence from Wednesday's open workouts, trying to make a major deal out of a minor one. To steal a common phrase, it is what it is, even if the "it" in question is irrefutably unfair to the other six fighters who wasted their afternoon doing exactly what Diaz wasn't doing.

But what I will say is this: considering how thin of ice Diaz is on -- Dana White said as much on the Jim Rome Show -- it probably isn't a good idea to, even in a roundabout way, blame the UFC for his no-show -- which is more or less what Diaz did.

"Would of been happy to show for the fans but UFC got me here at 12 last night. Gorge [sic] lives here!" Diaz tweeted around 9 p.m. local time, well after open workouts had ended.

Included in Diaz's tweet was a mobile link to our own Ariel Helwani's interview with Georges St-Pierre, in which St-Pierre admitted it wasn't fair that Diaz didn't have to fulfill the same media obligations as him. So it doesn't seem like too much of a leap to assume that Diaz was getting a kick out of irking St-Pierre's for about the thousandth time.

But honestly, who didn't see all this coming. It almost wouldn't have made sense for fight week to start any other way.

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6 MUST-READ STORIES

Diaz misses workouts. To the surprise of no one, Nick Diaz skipped Wednesday afternoon's UFC 158 open workouts, prompting UFC President Dana White to send a warning Diaz's way about missing any the week's remaining media obligations. UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre was subdued in his response, and in an unrelated nugget, White revealed that Diaz attempted to fight St-Pierre in a hotel back in 2011.

Hendricks talks Diaz, Condit. A surprisingly upbeat Johny Hendricks rebuffed Jake Ellenberger's accusation of dodging him, while offering his take on Diaz's absence. Said Hendricks: "To know that a guy that has done everything he could to mess it up is still in it, it sucks. It makes me think that, hey, maybe I should do that, and then I'll get the title shot."

Jung vs. Lamas. A potential No. 1 contender bout between top featherweights "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung and Ricardo Lamas is set to take place July 6, 2013 in Las Vegas, NV, on the fight card of UFC 162.

MadDonald aggravates injury. Sidelined welterweight contender Rory MacDonald re-aggravated the same neck injury that knocked out him of a rematch with Carlos Condit, according to a report from Sportsnet. MacDonald hopes to return sometime in the summer.

Bellator bookings. Two of Bellator's season eight tournament finals -- light heavyweights Mikhail Zayats vs. Emanuel Newton and lightweights Saad Awad vs. David Rickels -- are booked for March 28, 2013, on main card of Bellator 94. Both winners will earn $100,000 and an automatic title shot in their respective divisions.

Dos Santos vs. Hunt odds. Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos is a heavy favorite over Mark Hunt ahead of the pair's UFC 160 bout, according to Las Vegas oddsmakers. Early lines have pinned the Brazilian as more than a 4-to-1 favorite over the "Super Samoan."

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MEDIA STEW

Even though this fight started an obvious pay-per-view grab, it's hard to deny that it's beginning to feel like a huge fight.

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No surprise here. Pros picking GSP - 7. Pros picking Diaz - 2.

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Georges St-Pierre may not like doing media appearances, but he sure looked like he enjoyed this one.

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"If he wins the title, he's going to have to come to Vegas and we're going to have to sit down. And we did this already when we signed his new deal. But, I mean, I'm going to have to tell him, 'If you miss anything, I will strip you of this title.'" -- Dana White, laying out a worst case scenario for Nick Diaz.

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What do you think, folks? Agree or disagree with the top spot of Joe Rogan's "Ultimate 8: Feuds" countdown?

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I'm convinced. That's exactly how the Lodi soccer mom incident went down. Thanks, Tommy.

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DIAZ GONNA DIAZ

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PROS REACT

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CESAR'S NOW-DELETED RESPONSE

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ON THE MEND

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FIGHT BOOKINGS

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DANA ON TUF

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TRUTH

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MUST RUN IN THE FAMILY

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Wednesday, March 13, 2013):

  • UFC 162: Ricardo Lamas (13-2) vs. Chan Sung Jung (13-3)
  • Bellator 94: Mikhail Zayats (21-6) vs. Emanuel Newton (20-7-1) booked for light heavyweight tournament final
  • Bellator 94: Saad Awad (14-4) vs. David Rickels (13-1) booked for lightweight tournament final

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day sees thuggis switch it up with: Monopsony Power, or Why the UFC cut Jon Fitch

Hello everyone! A number of months ago, I posted an analysis of the UFC-Strikeforce merger under the DOJ-FTC horizontal merger guidelines, and why, under those guidelines, one could reasonably conclude that the UFC had a monopoly over mixed martial arts (the relevant product market) in the United States (the relevant geographic market). While the FTC elected not to take action against the UFC in response to the culinary workers union's complaint, that may have been because the FTC found that the UFC had not committed "exclusionary conduct" (i.e., done something bad), rather than finding that it lacked monopoly power. The FTC may also have simply decided that, as a matter of prosecutorial discretion, its limited resources were better invested elsewhere. Which brings us to the current situation, where the UFC is cutting established, successful fighters because "they make too much."

A firm that has market power may not always express that power by raising prices to the end consumer. Another avenue for a company to extract supracompetitive profits is to squeeze its suppliers, which is known as monopsony power. In this case, the UFC appears to be using its market power to squeeze its most basic factor input, the fighters themselves. By cutting established fighters who make decent salaries, the UFC is basically daring us, the viewers, to call its bluff. Are you really not going to buy the next UFC PPV because Jon Fitch isn't on it? Will you switch over to the World Series of Fighting, instead? It's just not plausible that such substitution will occur in sufficient volume to punish the UFC for cutting guys like Fitch.

In fact, the UFC can have its cake and eat it too, at this point. If Fitch becomes successful, he'll want back in to the UFC, and another promotion will have done the heavy lifting of making him a draw again. If not, the UFC loses nothing. But it also means that we get worse matchups, the fighters get less money, and Dana, Joe Silva, and the Fertita Bros. hold all the cards.

Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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