Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Thursday, March 7, 2013 | 5:15 p.m.
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Like an active volcano that’s bubbled under the surface for the last few centuries, everyone knew it was only a matter of time before Nick Diaz erupted again.
An outburst finally registered Thursday afternoon on a conference call previewing his UFC 158 welterweight title fight against Georges St. Pierre next week. Diaz grew increasingly frustrated and recited a new version of his same complaints with the champion, which essentially boils down to St. Pierre being fake and manufacturing his image.
“You’ve got Georges, they’ve got someone over there powdering his nose and they’re going to send him for a video shoot,” Diaz said. “They’ve got someone making twitter for him. Now he don’t even know how to act right. He’s got people living his life for him in the public.”
The two rivals had kept calm since they were booked to fight each other for a third time — the first two fell apart due to injuries and other issues — months ago. They even made it through an entire press conference in Montreal, where the fight takes place March 16 at the Bell Centre, without incident.
But Diaz could only hold back for so long. When a reporter followed Diaz’s first rant with a question to St. Pierre about being pampered, Diaz interrupted and went on a profanity-laced tirade about how he wished he was as rich and had the same luxuries.
St. Pierre could barely get a word in.
“Let me tell you something, uneducated fool,” St. Pierre said. “Just listen to me.”
Diaz was in no mood to use his ears, though. Only his mouth. Taking offense, he cut off St. Pierre again.
“Uneducated? Right. OK. I do a great job explaining and making things real for what they are, (expletive),” Diaz responded. “I’m not stupid. I can tell what’s what.”
Diaz agreed to listen to St. Pierre’s point, but it was one of the last times the champion was able to speak freely during the 45-minute call.
“I’ve not always been like this,” St. Pierre said. “I haven’t always been rich. I came from the bottom. I made myself, I worked very hard to get where I am right now. As much as I know you don’t believe this, because you didn’t succeed yet and maybe you will never succeed in your life because I don’t think you’re smart enough to understand what you should do to reach that point: When you reach a point for your business, you need people, a team to make the money. ”
That explanation failed to make Diaz feel any better.
“That sounds nice, Georges,” Diaz conceded. “If I wore tight shorts out there and got a (expletive) haircut and had someone buttering me up halfway through telling me to do this (expletive), maybe it would have worked out. You don’t even know where I come from. You try to talk about where you come from. You should see this (expletive) over here.”
Diaz has long described his struggles growing up in Stockton, Calif., and living in nearby Lodi. In some ways, believe it or not, Diaz says his fame has made it worse.
He described it as “embarrassing” to have everyone know who he was and have the wrong perception of him.
“I pull up to a stop light the other day and some 40-year-old lady, some soccer mom sticks her head out the window and is like, ‘I hope GSP beats your (butt),’” Diaz described. “We’re in (expletive) Lodi. I’m like, ‘Are you serious? We are in Lodi right now.’ That’s (expletive) wonderful: I’m living in a (expletive) small town of people that hate me over here.”
UFC 158 commercial
Diaz blames that on St. Pierre for a commercial currently making the rounds on television. In the ad, St. Pierre is quoted as calling Diaz “the most disrespectful person I’ve ever met” and saying he deserves a beating.
Diaz thinks too many fans cling on every word St. Pierre speaks.
“If you are where you are right now and I am where I am, it’s not my fault,” St. Pierre said. “It’s because of you, man. You did not succeed. That’s on you.”
That doesn’t register with Diaz, though. He accused St. Pierre of “crossing the line” on multiple occasions.
Diaz has yet to apply the same line to himself.
“My life is a mess, I’m not afraid to admit it,” Diaz said. “I work hard regardless through this (expletive). But I don’t have people toweling me off and handing me water bottles left and right, getting my training ready for me. I’ve got to do that (expletive) on my own.”
At one point, St. Pierre turned to ridicule by saying he didn’t understand any of the words Diaz was saying because his English “is that bad.” But on this afternoon Diaz succeeded in getting his feelings across — even if they weren’t presented eloquently.
“I just don’t like that I’m made out to be this evil person that needs to be shot down or conquered,” Diaz concluded. “What the (expletive)? If anything, I’m like the superhero coming in with the anti-bull (expletive).”