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

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.

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.

UFC 183: What a Victory Against Anderson Silva Would Mean for Nick Diaz

Nick Diaz needs to feed his family that he can hopefully someday acquire if he survives this s–t. 
That’s the simple answer to the question of what a victory would mean for Nick Diaz, the former Strikeforce welterweight champion and evergreen MMA…

Nick Diaz needs to feed his family that he can hopefully someday acquire if he survives this s–t

That’s the simple answer to the question of what a victory would mean for Nick Diaz, the former Strikeforce welterweight champion and evergreen MMA fan darling. It’s been a long road full of suspensions and retirement, but now we’re here, with Nick Diaz looking across the cage from Anderson Silva. How did we get to this matchup that seems like it was created by an immaculate glitch in a videogame?

In February of 2012, Nick Diaz was searching for his smile by the time he stepped into the Octagon against Carlos Condit for the interim welterweight title at UFC 143, which would soon be known as UFC 143: Diaz 1, 2, 5. Diaz had a purpose then. Momentum. And he had to ride that momentum towards UFC gold.  
But he lost and then the dagger was twisted. Retirement was imminent.

Even if Diaz had defeated Carlos Condit and had become the UFC welterweight champion, it wouldn’t have mattered. Diaz would test positive for marijuana metabolites and we would watch Nick mean mug into the smoky night, banned from the sport for a year.

Then Nick Diaz would come back in March of 2013 to play mind games on GSP, lose convincingly to the GOAT, then retire minutes after the the judge’s unanimous scorecards were read. Again.

In retrospect, there’s nothing wrong with ending a decade-long 36-fight career on the heels of two back-to-back losses. But we all knew Diaz would be back if the circumstances were correct and his hometown of Stockton aligned perfectly with the third full moon of the year. 

Has Nick Diaz found what he’s looking for over the last two years away from the sport? Was it that classic Diaz Smile™? Does it matter? Nick Diaz is back and he’s getting what he wants: big fights that equal big money. A win or a loss won’t change that desire.

What does a victory mean for Nick Diaz? Does it mean he’ll get his smile back? Is his smile back? Does his smile need to be returned and why are we even worrying about turning his perpetual frown upside down? 
Nick Diaz hates fighting. He’s said it himself:

Fighting is not something I enjoy doing. Fighting is something I feel I have to do, and that’s just the way it is.” 

“I don’t get excited to fight. I don’t use that word in this sport. I use that word [excited] like maybe I’m starving and food is showing up. That’s the kind of excitement I get. I get excited to have a couple of days off.

“I think people are confused with that term when it comes to fighting,” he said.

A victory for Nick Diaz means a payday for doing what Nick does best, moving to a weight class he hasn’t fought near since he subbed Scott Smith in the summer of 2009, months after beating up Frank Shamrock at 179 pounds. 

A victory for Nick Diaz means a win over one of the greatest middleweights ever. A victory means a bigger payday. A victory means Nick Diaz didn’t have his consciousness taken from him by Anderson Silva. 

“Would you enjoy fighting Anderson Silva?” Nick Diaz would ask at a recent presser. “Definitely not.”

A victory for Nick Diaz means he can feed his family that he can hopefully someday acquire if he survives this s–t. 

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com

Nick Diaz’s agent says Diaz is accounted for: ‘Everyone knows where he is’

LAS VEGAS — Nick Diaz is not missing in action.

Diaz’s agent Lloyd Pierson told MMAFighting.com on Wednesday morning that Diaz is accounted for and “everyone knows where he is.”

The first UFC Embedded episode for UFC 183 implied that Diaz missed his flight from Sacramento on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, UFC president Dana White tweeted a graphic of Nick Diaz on a milk carton, asking everyone if they knew where Diaz was.

#WhereIsNickDiaz #UFC183 #UFC pic.twitter.com/CFYjXxKRnJ

— Dana White (@danawhite) January 28, 2015

Pierson said the UFC is just messing around. Diaz, who meets Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 183 on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, has a past history of skipping out on media obligations.

“It’s just the spinning at work,” Pierson said.

Diaz did not miss his flight Tuesday, Pierson said. He did not get on his originally scheduled flight, but that was the plan all along. Diaz, Pierson said, will be arriving in Las Vegas on Wednesday morning and will be on time to open workouts Wednesday afternoon. As of 10 a.m. PT, though, Diaz was not in the air en route here.

“This isn’t the old Nick not showing up,” Pierson said. “There were some logistical issues. Everything is on schedule now.

“Everyone knew what was going on. The camera made it seem like he missed his flight. He didn’t get on his original flight and everyone knew he wasn’t getting on his original flight.”

Diaz (26-9, 1 NC) has not fought since March 2013, a welterweight title loss to Georges St-Pierre. Still, the Stockton bad boy, known for his relentless pace, iron chin and idiosyncratic interviews, is one of the most popular figures in MMA and this bout with Silva, the greatest UFC champion of all time, is highly anticipated.

The Silva fight is one Diaz had been targeting for a long time. He had been in a state of semi-retirement before hooking up with Pierson and his agency, the Ballengee Group, last spring. Diaz and Pierson were able to land the big-money Silva fight in July.

Pierson fully expects Diaz to be at the MGM Grand on Wednesday morning. And White does, too, the agent said.

“Everyone knows where he is,” Pierson said. “He’s fine. Dana knows where Nick is.”

LAS VEGAS — Nick Diaz is not missing in action.

Diaz’s agent Lloyd Pierson told MMAFighting.com on Wednesday morning that Diaz is accounted for and “everyone knows where he is.”

The first UFC Embedded episode for UFC 183 implied that Diaz missed his flight from Sacramento on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, UFC president Dana White tweeted a graphic of Nick Diaz on a milk carton, asking everyone if they knew where Diaz was.

Pierson said the UFC is just messing around. Diaz, who meets Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 183 on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, has a past history of skipping out on media obligations.

“It’s just the spinning at work,” Pierson said.

Diaz did not miss his flight Tuesday, Pierson said. He did not get on his originally scheduled flight, but that was the plan all along. Diaz, Pierson said, will be arriving in Las Vegas on Wednesday morning and will be on time to open workouts Wednesday afternoon. As of 10 a.m. PT, though, Diaz was not in the air en route here.

“This isn’t the old Nick not showing up,” Pierson said. “There were some logistical issues. Everything is on schedule now.

“Everyone knew what was going on. The camera made it seem like he missed his flight. He didn’t get on his original flight and everyone knew he wasn’t getting on his original flight.”

Diaz (26-9, 1 NC) has not fought since March 2013, a welterweight title loss to Georges St-Pierre. Still, the Stockton bad boy, known for his relentless pace, iron chin and idiosyncratic interviews, is one of the most popular figures in MMA and this bout with Silva, the greatest UFC champion of all time, is highly anticipated.

The Silva fight is one Diaz had been targeting for a long time. He had been in a state of semi-retirement before hooking up with Pierson and his agency, the Ballengee Group, last spring. Diaz and Pierson were able to land the big-money Silva fight in July.

Pierson fully expects Diaz to be at the MGM Grand on Wednesday morning. And White does, too, the agent said.

“Everyone knows where he is,” Pierson said. “He’s fine. Dana knows where Nick is.”

Nick Diaz: A Man Apart

 
Nick Diaz is not a villain. He is one of the baddest men to ever compete in a sport that sets the bar in terms of mental and physical fortitude. But the photos of him flipping off the camera and mean mugging do little to reflect his true nature…

 
Nick Diaz is not a villain. He is one of the baddest men to ever compete in a sport that sets the bar in terms of mental and physical fortitude. But the photos of him flipping off the camera and mean mugging do little to reflect his true nature. You can find out for yourself if you head to the gym he runs with his brother Nate in Lodi, California, put on a gi and train. Just leave your preconceived notions at the door.
“You better quit eating those Doritos,” Nick Diaz gently scolds his friend and assistant Jeff Torres. Diaz, standing in the boxing ring in the back room o … Read the Full Article Here

UFC 183: Tyron Woodley Will Show Kelvin Gastelum Not Quite Ready for Primetime

Two welterweights, looking to inch closer towards a title shot, face off at UFC 183 when Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley takes on the undefeated Kelvin Gastelum. 
Both Woodley and Gastelum come into this Octagon foray off the strength of dominant, …

Two welterweights, looking to inch closer towards a title shot, face off at UFC 183 when Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley takes on the undefeated Kelvin Gastelum

Both Woodley and Gastelum come into this Octagon foray off the strength of dominant, first-round finishes. The latter was last seen at UFC 180 choking out perennial 170-pound contender Jake Ellenberger, while The Chosen One dropped Korean striker Dong Hyun Kim with a right hand in August. 

To both fighters’ credit, they are equally dominant. Gastelum went from the last pick on Season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter to top-10 welterweight in less than two years. Since his win over Uriah Hall in the finale, the No. 7-ranked welterweight defeated Brian Melancon, Rick Story, Nico Musoke and Ellenberger.

Though the 23-year-old Gastelum has improved in each bout after his TUF stint, he hasn’t fought anyone quite like Woodley

The Chosen One is much more than your typical bruising knockout artist. Woodley is a former NCAA Division I All-American wrestler, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt, whose rise to stardom started in Strikeforce. 

Woodley nearly went undefeated through 11 fights in the now defunct promotion. He notched four finishes in his first five bouts in Strikeforce, which included a run of three-straight submission victories to open his career.

As success mounted, so did Woodley‘s competition. The Chosen One deployed a wrestling-heavy game plan against the likes of strikers Tarec Saffiedine and Paul Daley, notching decisions in both contests.

Wins over the aforementioned Saffiedine and Daley helped propel Woodley into a bout for the vacant 170-pound belt against former UFC middleweight title challenger Nate Marquardt. The American Top Team staple ultimately fell short in his first crack at gold, losing in a back-and-forth affair via fourth-round TKO. 

This stigma of being unable to hurdle the gates that separate the mixed martial arts elite from the would-be contenders has continued to haunt him throughout his UFC tenure. Woodley‘s flame has fizzled out on two instances.

He lost lackluster decisions to former top contender Jake Shields and fellow top-five welterweight Rory MacDonald in June 2013 and 2014, respectively. His performances, when the lights are at their brightest, have drawn criticism from UFC President Dana White.

This is in no way an indictment against his MMA repertoire. In fact, it’s because White expects more from the high-octane Woodley

With a dominant win over Gastelum, the No. 3-ranked welterweight can close the door on the criticism. Gastelum, on the other hand, will be fighting on the main card of a pay-per-view for just the second time in his short professional career. It will also be his first, co-main event spot.

From underdog, to one of the main attractions at UFC 183, Gastelum has shown he has the heart of a future champion. The tenacious wrestler found success on the mat against Hall and Melancon but it was his striking, as well as his chin, that took center stage when he faced grapplers Story and Musoke

Gastelum‘s fight with Story, in particular, showcased his expanded arsenal and ability to withstand a hard shot. Halfway into the first round, Gastelum connected with a head kick, nearly finishing Story in the process.

In the second round, the burgeoning contender was dropped by a straight left and kept his wits about him long enough to be saved by the bell. His last win over the heavy-handed wrestler Ellenberger was his most complete performance yet. 

Following a tense few minutes, which saw each fighter record a takedown, Gastelum sunk in the rear-naked choke during the closing seconds of round one. The victory gave the Yuma United MMA fighter his first win over a top-10 opponent.

Woodley, though, is on a whole different playing field than any of the men Gastelum has faced. The Chosen One was once in the same position as his current undefeated foe. 

Woodley has been through a title fight, fulfilled countless media obligations and was featured in Affliction advertising campaigns. He’s seen the peaks and valleys that the MMA universe has to offer and The Chosen One isn’t about to let another opportunity slip through his fingers.

The former collegiate wrestler from Missouri sports one of the best takedown defense rates in the welterweight division at 91 percent. Woodley also has the benefit of top-tier training partners such as former Missouri wrestling teammate, and Olympian, Ben Askren.

If Ellenberger, a Division II wrestler from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, can toss Gastelum around, then there’s no telling what Woodley can inflict upon him. The clinch is another aspect in which the Missouri native will have an upper hand. 

Though Gastelum has fought at middleweight before on TUF, Woodley carries much more muscle and is the bigger of two. In fights against Saffiedine and Daley, more than half the shots Woodley landed were from the clinch. 

The chances that The Chosen One gets dragged into Gastelum‘s world are slim to none. As a top-notch wrestler, and someone who hasn’t been submitted before, expect Woodley to intelligently defend himself should this bout with the choke-happy Gastelum hit the canvas. 

Perhaps, most importantly, Woodley has demonstrated multiple times now that his one-punch knockout power is nothing to laugh at. He’s defeated Jay Hieron, Josh Koscheck and former WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit by knockout.

Gastelum has been on one heck of a storybook run and has made significant improvements in the wrestling, striking and submission phases of his game. However, Woodley is much more complete than he is and should close the book on him come January 31. 

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com

UFC 183: John Lineker vs. Ian McCall Should Be No. 1 Contender Fight

When Ian McCall and John Lineker square off on the UFC 183 prelims on Saturday, they should be fighting for a shot at the UFC flyweight championship. McCall has fought Johnson twice already, but a win over the hard-hitting Lineker would be enough to ea…

When Ian McCall and John Lineker square off on the UFC 183 prelims on Saturday, they should be fighting for a shot at the UFC flyweight championship. McCall has fought Johnson twice already, but a win over the hard-hitting Lineker would be enough to earn him another title shot. And for Lineker, a successful battle with the scales combined with a win over McCall would put him at the front of the line in the flyweight division.

Since the inception of the UFC flyweight division in 2012, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson has rode roughshod over the competition. He’s dispatched every contender the UFC has thrown at him and it has been against the very best fighters in the world at 125 pounds. He’s defended his title five times and is ready for his next challenge.

Lineker has won five of his last six fights and last fought in a thriller with Alptekin Ozkilic at Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Miller in July of last year. With the first attempt at a fight with McCall getting scrapped, Lineker wanted to move straight to the title fight and take on Johnson, but he should have to get past McCall to get the title fight.

Lineker also has to get past another issue that’s been impacting his UFC career: making the flyweight limit. He has struggled to come in at 126 pounds in the past, and in a title fight he would have to hit 125 on the dot, something he didn’t do the first time he weighed in for the McCall fight.

Lineker came up short in a unanimous-decision loss against Ali Bagautinov last February, who was the only truly top-level flyweight he had faced up until that point. He needs a win over a top-ranked fighter like McCall to fully establish himself as a title contender.

McCall’s 18-fight career was built on fighting top competition. He faced Johnson back-to-back in his first two appearances inside the Octagon, and had a close fight against Joseph Benavidez.

His run in Tachi Palace Fights consisted of wins over Jussier da Silva, Dustin Ortiz and Darrell Montague, who all have since made their way to the UFC. He took on Charlie Valencia and Dominick Cruz during his time fighting in the WEC cage.

He didn’t always win but he has always fought the best possible competition, and he is now on the verge of a third chance to dethrone Johnson. If he can get past the “Hands of Stone” of Lineker, he should get another five rounds with Johnson.

McCall and Lineker aren’t the only two flyweights on the hunt for a title shot, though. The Ultimate Fighter Season 14 winner John Dodson is currently on the mend from an ACL injury he suffered last year. He won the 14th Season of The Ultimate Fighter with a first-round TKO over current UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw in 2011.

He has gone on a 5-1 UFC run with his only loss coming in a close fight with Mighty Mouse in January 2013. He has stated recently he is looking for a UFC title shot, whether it comes against Johnson or Dillashaw.

Another fighter vying for a rematch with “Mighty Mouse” is John Moraga, who has won three of his four fights since losing to the champion in July 2013. Moraga is coming off of back-to-back submission wins, and the 30-year-old MMA Lab fighter seems to be honing his skill set in his second campaign towards the title. But he needs another win over a high-level flyweight to earn a second crack at the championship.

Johnson’s plate seems to be filled with the prospect of rematches with guys he’s already defeated. His next go-round in the Octagon might be against a familiar foe in “Uncle Creepy” Ian McCall, or against a new challenger in Lineker. Either way, the flyweight fight at UFC 183 should provide the division’s next title challenger.

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com