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UFC spokesman: Nick Diaz 'elected' not to get on flight, will miss open workouts

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

LAS VEGAS -- Nick Diaz will not be at UFC 183 open workouts Wednesday, and he "elected" not to take his flight from Sacramento to Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon, according to UFC vice president of public relations Dave Sholler.

"We had staff that saw him yesterday in the airport and he elected to not get on the flight," Sholler said Wednesday before open workouts. "His bags did arrive. Again, I can't speak to why Nick decided not to get on the flight, but we're moving on as if the fight is happening Saturday. We're very confident he's going to be here today."

Sholler said the UFC expects Diaz to be in Vegas on Wednesday afternoon. Diaz did not get on scheduled flights Tuesday or Wednesday morning, Sholler said.

Diaz meets Anderson Silva at UFC 183 on Saturday night here at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. As of now, the fight is still on and Sholler said that UFC president Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta will corroborate later about a potential penalty for Diaz.

"We're moving forward," Sholler said. "The fight is happening. We feel pretty confident he's going to get here today."

Diaz's agent Lloyd Pierson told MMAFighting.com on Wednesday morning that Diaz would arrive in time for open workouts Wednesday afternoon. He said that White's tweets about Diaz being missing were in jest.

"Everyone knows where he is," Pierson said at the time. "He's fine. Dana knows where Nick is."

Messages sent by MMAFighting.com to Pierson later Wednesday afternoon were not returned.

"I don't know why Lloyd made those comments," Sholler said. "I can't speak for Lloyd. We got an indication this morning around 9 o'clock that wasn't happening."

Sholler said that the UFC's communication to Diaz has been through Pierson and "key members" of Diaz's team. They are now saying that Diaz will be on a flight at either 2 or 3 p.m. PT, according to Sholler.

As for rumors on Twitter that Diaz is already in Las Vegas and this is just a ruse by the UFC to generate buzz, Sholler denied those claims.

"I can assure you that Nick is not as of this moment in Las Vegas," he said.

Diaz missed a pre-fight press conference for UFC 137 in September 2011 when he was supposed to meet Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight title. The UFC pulled Diaz from the bout and had Carlos Condit take his place.