Is Nick Diaz missing-in-action as UFC 183 fight week begins? It's a predictable question, but one that begs asking after the first episode of UFC 183 Embedded showed Diaz missing his flight to Las Vegas, followed by another no-show at Wednesday's UFC 183 open workouts.
Diaz's agent, Lloyd Pierson, insisted to MMAFighting.com on Wednesday morning that the UFC was fully aware of Diaz's whereabouts. UFC President Dana White, however, offered an opposing take on the situation during an afternoon appearance on The Jim Rome Show.
"Nick is being Nick. We don't know where Nick is. I literally Instagram'ed a picture of him on a milk carton today. He's M.I.A.," White said. "First of all, we have a show called UFC Embedded, they showed up there Sunday to start filming him -- couldn't find him. We went through his management team and they set it up, they said ‘what we'll do is we'll set up a team dinner, you guys can film at the team dinner.'
"None of them showed up at the team dinner, then nobody answered their phones when the guys started calling. So then yesterday Nick was supposed to land in Las Vegas at 2:20. He missed his flight. His management team called and said, ‘book him another flight at 7:30.' Not only did he miss the first one, he missed the second flight. His bags made it to Vegas and he never did."
Diaz is slated to challenge former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva this Saturday in the main event of UFC 183. The blockbuster fight is expected to close out what has been a remarkably successful January campaign for the UFC, but first Diaz has to get to Las Vegas.
UFC Vice President of Public Relations Dave Sholler announced at Wednesday's open workouts that Diaz was present at the airport the previous night but "elected" not to step onto his flight.
For his part, White appeared to be unworried, stating that an incident like this a few years ago would have driven him crazy -- such as when Diaz infamously no-showed open workouts at UFC 158 -- but now he's come to expect it. And besides, it's not as if he can just cancel the weekend's festivities.
"The problem is this: it's too late," White said. "I already made the fight. We're sitting here on Wednesday. There's a lot of things he doesn't show up for, but he always shows up for the fights, so I'm counting on him showing up.
"I did it to myself again. I made a fight with Nick Diaz, a big main event fight. You know, when you get him in the office and you sit down, and he's like, ‘Well, you know, I feel like I haven't been paid right. Pay me right.' He's being paid right for this fight. It doesn't matter how much you pay him, he's not going to... I did it to myself, so I can't sit here and cry about Nick Diaz. It's Nick being Nick."