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UFC 137 switcharoo complete as Nick Diaz fills vacancy against B.J. Penn

MMA has always been an “anything can happen” sport coated in “never say never”, a fact given credence Thursday night when UFC President Dana White announced Nick Diaz would face B.J. Penn at UFC 137 a day after Diaz was pulled from the main event against Georges St. Pierre based on his failure to follow through on a few media commitments.

“This is crazy but here we go again! You wanted it so you got it,” White wrote to fans through his Twitter account.

The UFC’s decision to involve Diaz in another major fight on the same card is sure to be a controversial one after months of anticipation were tossed aside yesterday when the former Strikeforce welterweight champ no-showed a press conference in Las Vegas after doing the same in relation to a previous one. Diaz’s behavior drew criticism from fans, his employers, the press, and even trainer/manager Cesar Gracie, typically one of the Californian’s staunchest supporters.

Diaz also made matters worse by going on YouTube shortly thereafter and offering a tongue-in-cheek apology for “missing the beauty pageant”.

His newly-named opponent, Penn, was also affected by Diaz’s lackluster professionalism after watching Carlos Condit, who he was to face at UFC 137, be plucked from the bout and given an opportunity to fight GSP for the championship.

However, the past is the past and the public can now look to the future – specifically October 29 – where Diaz and Penn are concerned. The two former title-holders will enter the Octagon with a combined record of 41-14-2 with 34 finishing performances including twenty TKOs and fourteen submissions.

PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE/UFC

25 COMMENTS
  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    All the BS aside, how can this NOT be a great fight? Helluva card in fact.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  • joe mo mma says:

    Wow.. Penn vs. Diaz. this is going to be an awesome fight.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  • sides666 says:

    I cannot wait for this I am so happy things worked out this way foty potential its a dream match up in my eyes they both have sick ground skills and great striking I like this way better than the way it was before. Thank you Diaz for no showing

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  • Creature says:

    Curious as to how BJ plans on dealing with Diaz’s reach..

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  • RicM says:

    ….first I was pissed off about the Diaz fiasco, then a little confused (Condit in for Diaz? Oh well….), now I’m quite intrigued (Penn/Diaz)…….never a dull moment…….

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    Didn’t Penn train with the Diaz brothers for one of his title fights?
    I’m not going to get my hopes up that this fight even happens until after the first round. With the way Nick is going, he already can’t find his way from Cali to Vegas, I’m sure he’ll find some excuse to not show up to this too.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  • Dufresne says:

    I’m not thrilled that Nick is fighting on the same card he just got yanked from, I think they should have pushed this fight back at least one card just to save face.

    That said, I’m actually pretty stoked about this fight. BJ has some of the best boxing in MMA and Diaz was considering trying out pro boxing. Then on the ground you’ve got two of the best BJJ practitioners in the game. I do have to give Nick the edge in cardio though, but other than that this is a very close and intruiging matchup.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  • Rich S. says:

    Wow. This is awesome.

    Both guys are submission wizards with excellent striking. This should be very, very interesting.

    I have to give it to Diaz. I still don’t quite like BJ at 170, and I’m not sure how he’ll react to Nick’s style.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I hate to use this kind of language but this is fuking awesome.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    This is a pick em fight if I ever saw one.

    One could easily think of 5 reasons either man will win or lose. Other than the reach of Diaz both are pretty evenly matched.

    I got Diaz via UD and he then calls out winner of Condit/GSP

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • Rece Rock says:

    i still dont know what to make of all this…?? if this was what the card was from the start yeah sure great match ups and a good card BUT how do we just forget the last 48 hrs and act like its not absolutely retarded what just happened… he was once again enabled by a promotion and those around him… its bs, he will never be taught a lesson and will always feel like he’s owed a pardon for his own bad decisions, DW you better pray this dont back fire cause those same keyboard warriors out there your trying to please will turn on you in a heart beat and say you fucked up letting him back on a card if this guy pulls any more BS… sooo with that said i got BJ, fuck nick diaz.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 10

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Wow, I didn’t think this one would come to fruition but I’m glad it did. In fact, I think this whole fiasco turned out for the best — a package of GSP vs. Condit and BJ vs. Diaz is just as appealing & intriguing to me than the original matchups. And there’s certainly been no shortage of chatter & buzz over the whole matter these past 24+ hours. Dana & company got to send Nick a strong message that he will play by their rules or else, no fighters were lost from the card, and the matchups remain just as good, if not better. Hell of a deal the way this all shook out.

    I just wish the BJ vs. Diaz fight could be fought under the new 5-round main event rules. But as it is, I’ll go with BJ by UD. I don’t think the Diaz brothers are or ever will be as talented as the top-tier guys, but it damn near takes an aluminum bat to finish them. Should be a fun fight and great overall card… also can’t wait for Kongo vs. Meathead.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • Batman says:

    funny how people talk bad about diaz now they are happy about this fight, what a crazy world.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  • silkshot61 says:

    Rece brought up a fantastic question. Why does this clown still have a job?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  • Richard Stabone says:

    What’s crazy about recognizing Diaz’s immaturity and lack of professionalism while still appreciating his skills and entertaining style in the cage? What’s silly is how people tend to pick a side and become blinded by their own bias.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  • Creature says:

    I dont think diaz should even be on the card, im not gonna complain because i think BJ is gonna show everyone that Diaz is a bit overrated and Condit is for sure more dangerous and deserving of that title shot than Nick was

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  • mu_shin says:

    This clown still has a job because he’s an excellent fighter.

    Great save by Mr. White and company. Diaz may be the greatest obstacle to his own success, but Zuffa overcame their corporate ego and saw the brilliant sales potential of this recovery. With all the drama and virtually operatic on again off again theatrics, the BJ/Diaz fight sells itself.

    Personally, I was much more interested in the GSP/Diaz contest, but now that fight can still happen, just at a later date, regardless of who wins either of the resultant fights we will now enjoy.

    Always appreciated Carlos Condit’s intensity and focus in the ring, just think he may be in a little deep against GSP. Been a Diaz fan for years, and while I’ve always respected The Prodigy, he seems to have lost some of his former status in the cage. I’m not sure he’ll recapture any of that in this match-up.

    Both interesting compelling matches, and it’s my fervent hope and desire that between Cesar Gracie, Dana White, and maybe his brother Nate, they can get Nick to the cage without further incident, and let the Stockton bad boy do his thing.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  • Rece Rock says:

    Diaz still has a job because right now he is money… not a ton of money but with all this hoopla following him right now he is money… dana & co. aint leaving money on the table BUT its still ridiculous how this went down.

    let me be clear im excited for 2 great fights im disapointed by how we got here.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  • Rece Rock says:

    I think the other loss for the fans was the possiblity of future Champion vs Champion fights happening sooner if the Diaz/ GSP fight turned out to be a great fight I’m sure Zuffa would look to capitalize and start putting other unification bouts together more quickly…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • I actually like this better. Condit is the obvious frontrunner in The UFC’s cast of current Welterweights even if he hasnt beaten any of the top Welterweights as of late. The way he handed both Kim and Hardy was outstanding and the way he came back both in the Ellenberger and MacDonald fights show he doesnt quit till the final bell. Everyone on here knows what a fan of Condit I am and I’ve been wanting to see this fight since the end of WEC. Too bad Carlos didnt destroy Kampmann the way I thought he would.

    On the flip of the coin Diaz needs to introduce himself to the fans that only watch the UFC and what better way to prove he belongs there than taking on not only a legend, but former champion who’s recently knocked out a hall of famer and went to a draw with a guy who has one of the best records in UFC history. Jake Shields was still quite an unknown to alot of fans when he fought GSP thanks fo an underwhelming performance against Martin and no one(except some diehards) gave him any chance of winning.
    I think both of these two upstarts(Diaz and Condit) have the ability to win both fights and then likely fight each other immediately after. Both are finishers, both have great abilities on the ground and standing, and both have an intensity in the ring only rivaled by the men they’re facing. Is it BS that Nick no showed on the press conferences?…no question. but Im starting to wonder if this wasnt a whole thing worked out behind the scenes for some of the reasons I’ve previously stated…either way these two fights are worth the PPV price alone.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • HevyHitters says:

    I actually like gsp/condit and penn/diaz way better..I think bj will get a little busted up by nicks jabs, but since he won’t be worrying about take downs..he will be able to utilize his boxing and in the end I think penn takes it, I hope he comes in shape..have to go with gsp in a hard fought decision, although would love to see condit win it

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • adamsfamily says:

    I think BJ will be confident enough to stand and (or) roll with Diaz, but if it ends up being close he did show much improved wrestling against fich. If he needs to secure rounds late in the time frame this might decide things.
    Overall I think BJ is too well rounded and Diaz has the reach, but Penn moves better. The only time he struggled was with Edgar who is quicker has better movement than Nick.
    BJ by 3rd round TKO

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • Guthookd says:

    Paid.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Rece Rock says:

    If BJ was going to be ready for Condit then fighting Diaz should be no problem.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    Fighting Diaz has never been a problem for the top guys. ;)

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

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