There's a short list of fighters who simply have a knack for making a reporter's job easy.
When Chael Sonnen's around, it's simply a matter of turning on your recorder, letting him go, and then figuring out which angle he's trying to work afterwards. Michael Bisping tells you straightaway what he thinks about any particular topic, believes what he says, and doesn't care what you think about it. Ronda Rousey has an opinion on everything and doesn't wait for you to ask.
Then there's Nick Diaz. Unlike the above-mentioned fighters, who are great quotes, but you can usually figure out which direction they're heading, one can never predict where the path is going to lead when Diaz has the floor. Stockton's finest proved this once again during Thursday's wild UFC 158 media teleconference, in which he and Georges St-Pierre got more than a little sidetracked.
You can listen to the full conference call here, but Diaz's standout gem, "I'm the superhero coming in with the anti-bulls***," got us thinking about some of his greatest quotes over the years. I polled my MMAFighting.com colleagues for a list of our favorite Diazisms. Here are the results. Enjoy, and if we missed something, feel free to add it in the comment section:
"Where you at, Georges? Where you at, motherf---?" Diaz in the Octagon after beating B.J. Penn at UFC 137. St-Pierre was sitting cageside.
"There's not enough money in this sport. You've got Floyd Mayweather making $25 million. He can't stop a double-leg." -- More Diaz UFC 137 goodness, this time at the post-fight presser.
"So we're throwing spinning s--- now?" -- to Carlos Condit, after Condit threw a spinning back fist during their UFC 143 fight.
"I can pass a drug test in eight days with herbal cleansers. I drink 10 pounds of water and sweat out 10 pounds of water every day. I'll be fine." --Diaz to the Los Angeles Times in 2009. Let's just say the plan has failed him a couple times.
"I feel like you instigate fights quite a bit. Maybe that's your job, but where I come from people like that get slapped." -- Diaz to our own Ariel Helwani, prior to his fight with Paul Daley.
There was the epic Hollywood press conference in 2009 which kicked off both the Strikeforce-Showtime partnership and promoted the Diaz-Frank Shamrock bout at HP Pavilion in San Jose. In the middle of their back-and-forth banter, Shamrock informed Diaz he had his own personal parking spot at HP Pavilion, and asked Diaz if he had one. "No, and I don't have no f--- dressy suits either," said Diaz, who later flipped off the nattily attired Shamrock when they were supposed to square off for photos.
Then there's the grandaddy of them all, Diaz's Elite XC beef with K.J. Noons. First, Diaz introduced the phrase "Don't be scared, homie" into the MMA vernacular, prompting a brawl with Noons' crew after Diaz's win over Mushin Cobbrey. Then, the term "mean mug" forever entered our lives. Telling Yahoo! Sports about a near-altercation in the hotel parking lot with Noons' posse the same weekend:
"My car pulled up in front of the hotel and he and his girlfriend and his mom and dad were there. Right away, he put his mug on me. He was staring me down and trying to give the impression that he's hard core. I flipped him off, but he's standing over there like he's flashing. I go, ‘What the f*** are you doing? I'm not the one doing s***.' I couldn't understand why this guy is putting his mean mug on me, but he had to act like he was some kind of a f*** tough guy in front of his girlfriend and his dad."
Finally, there was Thursday's "superhero" comment, which gave way to his thoughts on the current state of the sport: "If anything, I'm the super hero coming with the anti-bulls***. You know, give me a f*** break, are you seriously going to stick to the bulls*** forever? This is mixed martial arts, ladies and gentlemen. This is some boring-ass s*** we're watching, you know? And we should see something new, as far as I'm concerned."
On behalf of my MMA media colleagues, Nick, I implore you: Don't ever change. Don't ever stop keeping it real. The 209 thanks you for it and so do we.
And with that, on to this week's Fightweets. If you'd like to be included in next week's edition, then follow me on Twitter.
Should Wanderlei Silva retire?
@RuckerYeah: Can we ever watch a Wanderlei Silva fight without people telling him to retire? He won the fight!
Yeah, I get where you're coming from. It might be my imagination, but it seems like in recent months, we've gotten a little out of control with the public hand-wringing over this sort of thing. It's gotten to the point that every time a grizzled veteran competes, or every time there's a slugfest like Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice, MMA writers now seem required to deliver the audience a sermon about where this is all headed.
Of course no one wants to see anybody get seriously hurt. Of course there are inherent dangers in MMA. No one's being forced to enter this business against their will. These are adults who willingly chose this as their profession. Everyone knew this going in. The point's become belabored.
As for Silva, this is guy who loves what he does for a living. He enjoys competing. He runs a successful gym. To read some of the stuff that's been written about Silva over the past couple years, you'd think every time he stepped into the cage, Silva was taking the sort of beating David Loiseau took from Rich Franklin at UFC 58. But if you look at Silva's past three fights, two of them were knockout wins, and in the other, there were several referees who would have stopped the bout with Franklin when Silva clobbered him in the second round.
Silva's obviously not in his prime any longer, but nor is he on his last legs, either. So instead of treating Silva like he's a small child who keeps touching a hot kettle and we're his parents, maybe it's time to let him decide his future for himself.
Rally for Hunt
@TannerRuss2: What does @MarkHunt1974 have to do to get a top 5 guy?
Depends on who you wish to believe. On one hand, UFC president Dana White snapped at a fan on Twitter who asked him about why, as of this writing, Hunt isn't fighting Junior dos Santos in Alistair Overeem's place: "Hey dummy, Mark Hunt turned to the fight as of last night so STFU when u don't know what ur talkin about." Later in the day, Hunt tweeted: "Jus so you know I don't turn fights down," then "I have never turned down a fight and even wen I was injured I had to force myself not to fight." He also urged his followers to tell White he wants the JDS fight. So, spelling errors all around notwithstanding, the answer to your question is either "He was offered a fight and turned it down," or "Maybe if you guys tweet White until White says yes." (Addendum: As I was putting this story through our content system, White tweeted "Mark Hunt and I just got off the phone and had a GREAT conversation!!" So maybe this will have a happy ending after all. Stay tuned).
Bendo or Aldo?
@ElCujorino: If BenHen beats Gil doesn't he deserve the fight w/GSP? Aldo hasn't cleaned out feather w/TKZ & Lamas around & he gets to go up.
True, but Aldo has also won 14 consecutive fights at featherweight, is undefeated in 12 Zuffa fights dating back to June 2008, and has joined Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre and Tito Ortiz as the only Zuffa champions with reigns longer than three years. If he defeats Anthony Pettis this summer, Aldo will have strung together consecutive wins over former UFC and WEC lightweight champions in Frankie Edgar and Pettis. No one at lightweight can say that, not even Henderson.
Henderson's not quite at the same point in his UFC title reign as Aldo is in his. Henderson's title victory over Edgar was close, though clear. Nearly everyone aside from two judges thought Edgar won the rematch. Aldo has slowly but surely become established as a pay-per-view draw; Henderson isn't quite there yet. I can't blame Henderson for trying to call GSP out, but I think Henderson should take the long view here. If Henderson can defeat Aldo and end his win streak, that would strengthen his hand for a potential St-Pierre fight.
Of course, as I type this, I realize so many hypotheticals would have to all fall into place to make this work it's kind of silly to even speculate, but hey, you asked, I answer.
Why Eddie Wineland?
@MrGoalposts: Why is Wineland getting title shot? Is there not more deserving fighters? Seems indicative of weak division, no?
All a matter of timing. Dominick Cruz is still out. Renan Barao has already beaten Urijah Faber and Michael McDonald. Faber is fighting Scotty Jorgensen in Las Vegas in April, which is two fights seven weeks apart for him. Given the options, Wineland is as good an option as any. He's a former WEC bantamweight champ, he's won his past two fights, and he's a tough out for anyone who's only been finished once since 2007. Is Barao-Wineland perfect? No, but weighing it all together I'd rather have this fight than have an interim champ sit on the belt.