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UFC 137 victory leads Nick Diaz to title shot against Georges St. Pierre

Diaz and St. Pierre both infuriated for different reasons


Sam Morris

Nick Diaz yells into the camera after defeating B.J. Penn in their welterweight bout at UFC 137 Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Nick Diaz defeats B.J. Penn at UFC 137

KSNV's coverage of UFC 137, Oct. 29, 2011

UFC 137 - Diaz vs. Penn

Nick Diaz hits B.J. Penn with a right during their bout at UFC 137 on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011, at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Diaz won by unanimous decision, and Penn announced his retirement after the fight. Launch slideshow »

UFC 137 Fights

Donald Cerrone lands a left on Dennis Siver during their bout at UFC 137 Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Cerrone won via sumbission in the first round. Launch slideshow »

UFC 137 somehow ended exactly where it started.

Nearly five months ago, UFC President Dana White announced a welterweight title fight between Georges St. Pierre and Nick Diaz would headline the event. After a shuffle that resulted in Diaz scoring a unanimous decision victory over B.J. Penn in Saturday night’s UFC 137 main event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, White again found himself booking St. Pierre vs. Diaz.

Diaz leapfrogged Carlos Condit for the next 170-pound title shot and will tentatively face St. Pierre at UFC 143 next year on Feb. 4 in Las Vegas. St. Pierre requested the fight after Diaz accused the champion of faking an injury in his post-fight octagon interview.

“He’s the most disrespectful human being I’ve ever met,” St. Pierre commented through White, “and I’m going to put the worst beating you’ve ever seen on him in the UFC.”

White, and everyone else, was shocked by the comment. St. Pierre is normally one of the most reserved fighters in the UFC, but White said the Canadian “flipped out” after Diaz’s comments.

Diaz kept yelling “Georges” seconds after the fight with Penn concluded and then told UFC commentator Joe Rogan that St. Pierre was “scared to fight.” Diaz said he made the remark because he was unhappy St. Pierre didn’t speak up when their originally scheduled bout fell apart.

“I’ve got to come off like that just to get a fight,” Diaz yelled upon hearing the news. “I’ve got to be the bad guy. You want to point the finger and make me the bad guy. I’m the bad guy. Now I get a fight.”

Leave it to Diaz to win what most considered the most important fight of his life, receive his dream matchup on the same night and still complain for the entire 25 minutes he was available to media.

He bemoaned having to accept the bout with Penn. Diaz criticized his own performance and called his game plan stupid.

He complained about not having the training partners to properly prepare him for Penn. Diaz even grumbled about a referee stoppage in teammate Jake Shields’ last fight.

But mostly, Diaz stuck with his usual complaint of not making enough money. He compared himself to Floyd Mayweather, Jr., whom he said, “makes $25 million and can’t stop the double-leg” takedown. The rant continued when Diaz detailed his daily running routine.

“I run by hundreds of these huge houses with these big yards and fountains everywhere,” Diaz said. “And then these people have their little picnic patio outside and a little pool, all this stuff. Then I take a little circle around and go back into my neighborhood where my car gets robbed. I’ve got some dude out in front of my house looking for cigarette butts or something where some friends might have left some. It’s ridiculous.”

White interrupted Diaz to point out that his purse in the Penn fight alone was more than enough money to move. The suggestion, and ensuing laughter from those at the press conference, only further set off Diaz.

“I don’t know how to go buy a house in the middle of all of this training,” Diaz said. “I didn’t go to school for that. I started training jiu-jitsu when I was 16 years old.”

“Everyone wants to make their little jokes and laugh and Dana says something and all you guys laugh at me. That’s not funny. If I just backed out of a fight like Georges did, I could have got my life together and thrown some money on something.”

As perturbed as he was with Diaz at the press conference, White spoke glowingly of the former Strikeforce champion’s performance against Penn. Diaz lost the first round to the more active Penn on all three judges’ scorecards, but recovered to win the last two by a wide margin.

Diaz threw his jab and hook repeatedly with a ferocity that stood out to White. Although Penn’s right eye was black and swollen shut, “The Prodigy” withstood the punishment to reach the scorecards.

“What they did was fight like warriors,” White said. “Those two were toe-to-toe, in the pocket, no backing up, no running around.”

The 32-year old Penn said he planned to retire after the fight, but White warned not to jump to any conclusions. Penn has never taken that severe of a beating, White opined, and might have let his emotions get the best of him.

A two-time champion like Penn, who went directly to the hospital after the loss, possibly walking away from the UFC would have dominated the discussion after most cards. But not at UFC 137, where an enraged Diaz finally got the attention he sought from St. Pierre.

“This is what I wanted from the beginning,” St. Pierre said in a statement. “Let’s do what was supposed to be done originally. I’ve always wanted this fight — now I want it even more. I can’t wait for Super Bowl weekend.”

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at

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