LAS VEGAS -- Nick Diaz went to the airport Tuesday in Sacramento with the intention of getting on a plane for Las Vegas. His bags were checked and Diaz carried on to the gate.
But then he turned around and went back home. Diaz missed his flight and then no-showed UFC 183 open workouts Wednesday, causing a stir. Anderson Silva, his opponent Saturday at the MGM Grand, said it was "unfortunate for fans."
Diaz got to Vegas on Wednesday evening and Thursday at UFC 183 media day he said he was sorry.
"I had to go back home for some things, so I didn't make it here as soon as I would have liked to," he said. "So I apologize to all the fans, especially the ones that were here to see the open workout. I didn't really put too much thought into it. I was just more focused on the fight. I've pulled the same card a couple of times. It's pretty inconsiderate of me. Again, I apologize to all the fans who were anticipating a show on Wednesday."
Diaz (26-9, 1 NC) said when he went to the airport Tuesday he had left half his stuff at home and he preferred to sleep in his own bed.
"I'm not trying to rush anything for anybody," Diaz said. "I got a deadline, I know what that is. That's come make what weight on Friday, come fight on Saturday. Do the best I can to put on a show for the fans, fight for the fans, come in at 100-percent for the fans. If I'm gonna do that to the best of my ability, I'm gonna do the best I can to do that. At this point in time, regardless of whatever obligations I have, for me I'm gonna have to do what I gotta do. I'm gonna say it again: I apologize to Dana White, to all the UFC, everything is prepared."
Diaz, who was on time for media day while Silva was late, is facing a fine for skipping out on the mandatory fan and media event. His agent Lloyd Pierson told MMAFighting.com that a penalty has not been discussed yet.
It seemed from his answers that Diaz didn't really want to be at workouts, but also didn't want to upset fans who came to see him.
"When we got to the airport I was like, I think I'd just rather sleep in my own bed tonight," Diaz said. "I think [the UFC was] gonna try to jam me up with a bunch of things, they were gonna keep me up."
Ironically, Diaz missing the open workouts has only increased attention on the fight and on him. On Thursday, dozens of media members gathered around the stage where Diaz was going to speak, hanging on his every word.
"You never really know how things are gonna go," he said.
The UFC used his absence for promotion. UFC president Dana White tweeted out a photo of Diaz's face on a milk carton and the first episode of 'UFC Embedded' for UFC 183 was based around Diaz missing his flight Tuesday.
"Sure, yeah," Diaz said. "Go ahead. They're gonna get a show. They're gonna have something regardless. They're gonna say whatever they want to say. They had fun with it. That's fine. They're gonna do what they like."
Diaz said he exchanged texts with White at some point this week when he was at the airport and White expressed satisfaction that Diaz was en route to Las Vegas. They have not spoken since he got to town.
"People want to say, oh you're irresponsible," Diaz said. "Is it responsible for me to get an ass whooping, which is probably gonna happen regardless? Whether I win or I lose. Just like in every fight I've done. It's not like I don't anticipate the worst-case scenario out there like I always do and I always have."
Diaz, 31, is returning after almost two years away. The last time he fought was a loss to Georges St-Pierre in March 2013. Silva has also been out for awhile, following a gruesome broken leg against Chris Weidman in December 2013.
Both men are popular and significant draws for the UFC. Diaz wanted this fight -- he only wants big-money bouts at this stage in his career. The Stockton, Calif. native alluded to pay a bit, too, when speaking about missing workouts.
"You want to give me something more to work with, maybe I can give you something more to work with as far as like a Wednesday," Diaz said. "I can get invested in that and planning and leading up to what I got to do. And I should have. I'm sorry I didn't make it happen and I would like to. I would."