Ending months of speculation, Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz has finally come out and openly addressed media regarding the company’s failed attempt at putting him in the ring with Jason “Mayhem” Miller. While it was originally believed the pairing’s point of contention was weight, in fact it appears money was the primary hold-up in convincing Diaz to temporarily abandon his focus on welterweight in favor of a fight at 185 pounds.
Diaz spoke about the situation in a recent conference call, as well as about a number of other subjects including his interest in facing a few of the UFC’s top names and, of course, his January 29 fight against Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos.
When asked about whether or not his plans for the future include a change in division, Diaz was open to the idea but only if the price is right.
“I don’t know. I wouldn’t mind moving up. I’d just like to get paid for it, you know? I don’t like when I hear people say I didn’t accept the fight with (Mayhem) Miller because I was too small. I never said anything about that,” explained the Stockton native. “I said if I’m going to go off-track and screw with my whole season and it’s going to screw with my whole year and screw with my capabilities fighting at 170 then I’m going to have to get paid in full. I’d like to have a reason for doing that. I’d like to get paid double or triple to do something that crazy. To screw with my weight like that? I’d rather move down than move up if you’re not going to pay me for it.”
Diaz continued on the topic, saying, “I might as well move down than up. Am I going to get paid for it? I’ll fight at 155 pounds unless they offer me a big money fight at 185 pounds. If they do then I’ll make it happen but I’m not going to do it for free; for the same as I would make at my normal 170 pounds. Why would I? It’s more work.”
“That’s why I never wanted to sign for that fight with Miller, because they were talking about me moving weight. I was like tell these guys to get in shape and make weight like I do. It’s hard enough for me to make 170 pounds. You know what I mean? He acts like he wouldn’t be able to do it. He doesn’t want to work hard like me. That’s the problem. So he can work his ass off and make 170 pounds or 175 pounds or someone can pay me a couple million dollars to move up to 185 pounds to fight him,” he continued. “I just want to get paid…I’m over here driving a Honda because my sh*t is breaking down.”
One former middleweight who has been open to making the extra effort to squeeze into a 170-pound frame, “Cyborg” Santos, also came up in relation to next weekend’s title fight with Diaz explaining he understands the risk involved.
“I think he’s a brawler and he kicks well. He’s a kick-boxer/brawler. He’s a good fighter. He has knockout power and he hits hard. He can hurt you with one punch. If you hit anyone right with a good punch they’ll go down.”
As far as other fighters he has his eye on, Diaz mentioned a few names who currently call the Octagon home including Josh Koscheck, Anderson Silva, and welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre.
“I think I got here first and I was fighting before most of them, including (GSP) in the UFC. I was at it first. I was mad that they were getting fights and getting all this recognition when I was at it first. I thought it was first-come, first-serve,” Diaz began. “Like Koscheck. I cornered a guy at a bar who probably had two fights in his life. They worked it like he was set up to fight Koscheck. Then he gets an ass-whuppin. That’s what I’m saying. They’ve made easy fights for those guys. These guys have got like six or seven fights. Like all easy fights. I’ve never got to fight a guy like the one they brought into fight Koscheck. So when you bring up fighters like that and tell me they are the best fighters in the world it’s a joke. Those guys are all ranked now but I was here first. So let’s fight then. Let’s make it happen, you know?”
Before moving on in the conversation, Diaz parted with one more closing shot saying, “People think (St. Pierre) is better than me and its bullsh*t. He went five rounds with Koscheck. I just told you about Koscheck, right?”
The proud Californian, who adheres to a vegan lifestyle and also runs triathlons in his spare time, holds an overall record of 23-7 with wins in his last eight bouts as well as twelve of his last thirteen. He holds past victories over Robbie Lawler, Josh Neer, and Frank Shamrock, and most recently had his hands raised as the result of a unanimous decision over K.J. Noons in October at “Strikeforce – Diaz vs. Noons II”.
Other action slated for “Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg” includes a second title-fight with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza putting his middleweight belt up for grabs against hard-hitting Lawler, as well Herschel Walker returning to the ring in a bout against Scott Carson and 3-0 Roger Gracie going for #4 against experienced competitor Trevor Prangley.