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Tag: Nick Diaz

Stockton Stand Up!

It seems that wherever local news cameras go they manage to zero in on the idiots in the crowd almost effortlessly. It’s no different in this footage from Sacramento’s Channel 10, which Steve Cofield thankfully dug up. Bashing an entire city based on the people who find their way on to the evening news is not only easy and kind of unfair, it also turns out to be lots of fun.

For those of us who have always wondered about what Stockton is really like after hearing the Diaz brothers wax poetic about it for years, it is indeed an insight. The ladies who show up around the 0:47 mark to insist that “we aren’t an advocate of bloodshed, although we don’t hate on it if it happens” are a couple of stalwart examples of the kind of girls you might meet at an MMA event (if you’re lucky).

Not content to let the plebes make the point for him, Cofield also refers to a recent study that claimed Stockton had the highest illiteracy rates of any American city with a population over 250,000. Ouch. But I guess if you want a town that breeds its share of tough fighters, you don’t necessarily go looking for the city that issues the most library cards.

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“Unfinished Business”: The Aftermath

Nick Diaz EliteXC MMA Stockton
(“I’d like to say fuck you to all my fans, fuck you to everyone at Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu who helped me train for this fight, a huge fuck you to my brother, fuck you to my sponsors Chase Chevrolet and Stagr…” Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

If CBS’s latest “Saturday Night Fights” card proved anything, it was that the EliteXC brand isn’t strong enough yet to pull in viewers without its marquee fighters. “Unfinished Business” drew 2.62 million sets of eyeballs according to f4wonline.com, and while that’s not a ratings disaster, it does represent almost a 50% drop from the “Primetime” show in May, which was headlined by Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano. Getting the ratings back on track will be priority #1 for EliteXC’s next show; during Saturday’s broadcast, it was announced that “Saturday Night Fights III” (actual title TBA) will go down October 4th at the BankAtlantic Center near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Mr. Ferguson and Ms. Carano have been booked to fight.

Now the question is, who will they be fighting? We previously mentioned that Kelly Kobald was being discussed as the next opponent for “Crush/Conviction,” but Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos had a star-making performance this weekend with her double-homicide of Shayna Baszler, and a Carano/Cyborg matchup would probably be the biggest fight in women’s MMA right now. As for Kimbo, who freakin’ knows. Brett Rogers is still the most obvious choice for Ferg’s next opponent, but EliteXC has been cagey about confirming it, leading some to wonder if Rogers is being saved for Antonio Silva’s first heavyweight title defense. Regarding a Slice/Rogers match, EliteXC’s Head of Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen said “I’m not sure if that’s the fight fans want to see right now,” telling Sherdog that EliteXC is now looking at four or five potential candidates for Slice’s next opponent. He wouldn’t name names.

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No Shaw’s and Very Little Excitement for Elite XC

So Robbie Lawler is clearly not into doing this interview with MMA Rated’s Ariel Helwani. That’s nothing new for the Elite XC middleweight champ. Media shy isn’t quite the term for how Lawler deals with the press. More like media contemptuous. But to hear Ariel tell it, Lawler isn’t the only one who seems unenthusiastic about this event:

We just came back from the EliteXC press conference at the Stockton Arena and the only word that comes to mind is “surprised.”

Surprised that there was virtually no media there. Seriously, maybe a handful…tops.

Surprised that the Shaws (Gary and Jared) were no where to be found. Surprised that no one is willing to give a straight answer as to where they are hiding. Trust me, I asked around. Surprised that there appears to be zero excitement online, around town or even in the local media for this event.

What’s going on here? Elite XC broke a major barrier with their first show on CBS, but now they’re on the verge of their second and already people are treating it like their grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary party. Not that we’re saying this is necessarily wrong on the part of the media or the fans or even the fighters. We can definitely relate to those feelings. It’s just odd.

Is it bad timing, coming on the heels of the biggest MMA weekend of the year thus far? Is it the line-up? The promotion itself? The lack of a big media build-up? Lack of MMA lightning rods like Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano? What’s the deal?

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Elite XC on CBS: Unreasonably Specific Predictions


(Insert lame “picture in a picture” joke here.)

I’ll admit it, I’m having a hard time getting excited for this Elite XC event tomorrow night. Part of it is the hangover from the huge MMA weekend we just had with Affliction, UFC, and Dream all crammed into a couple of days. After that sensory overload, I feel like a teenager who took way too much acid: there are no highs and no lows for me right now, plus I’m frightened by bright colors and strong breezes.

Another part of it is the fight card. It’s not a bad card, just kind of uninspired. Nothing leaps out at you as a match you absolutely have to see. As an attempt at making things more interesting, here are some unreasonably specific predictions for Saturday night’s show. I look forward to hearing how hopelessly wrong I am in the comments section.

Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith

I’d like to say that I predicted stoppage by accidental eye-poke for the first meeting, but it isn’t so. TKO by Lawler seems to be the smart choice, even though Lawler seemed unable or unwilling to really go after Smith and finish him when he had him hurt the last time. That won’t be the case this time. Lawler will stun Smith with an uppercut, then finish him off with a left hand that will drop him without putting him all the way out. The ref will move in to stop it just a little bit too soon (this is on CBS, after all) and Smith will make that I-just-can’t-catch-a-break face. The CBS commentators will then attempt to claim that it was the fight of the year.

When Will It Happen: 3:14 of round two.

What to Watch For: After the victory, the stone-faced Lawler will look only about as happy as a man who just found a good parking space at the mall.

Nick Diaz vs. Thomas Denny

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Nick Diaz Would Really Like to Be in a Magazine

Nick Diaz and Thomas Denny Elite XC
(Staredown, courtesy of Combat Lifestyle)

In our exclusive interview with Elite XC’s Nick Diaz yesterday, he made mention of what he perceived as a lack of coverage for the Diaz brothers in MMA magazines. At the time we didn’t think much of it. It just seemed like a remark in passing. But after yesterday’s Elite XC press conference, we’re starting to think that Diaz is really serious about wanting to be in a magazine. Maybe it was this quip that did it:

“I’m happy to be fighting Denny because I always see him on every magazine. I’m never in any magazines so maybe when I win I might get some love from a few publications.’’

And now that I think about it, after he beat Takanori Gomi in that epic Pride bout that was ruled a no-contest due to weed, he made this remark:

“I boxed him up. I gogo’d him. Put me in a fucking magazine or something. Fuck.”

Seriously, magazine editors. What else does this guy have to do? You want him to beg you, is that it? You monsters. Just put him in a magazine! We’d buy a copy, and we can barely read.

If Nick keeps this up, magazines may become the obsession for him that airplanes are for Brock Lesnar.

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Exclusive Interview: Nick Diaz

Nick Diaz EliteXC MMA
(Photo courtesy of Complex.)

When we last saw Nick Diaz, he was whipping Muhsin Corbbrey at EliteXC: The Return of the King, and advising KJ Noons not to be frightened. Diaz gets back into the cage this Saturday at the second installment of EliteXC’s “Saturday Night Fights” (CBS, 9 p.m. ET/PT), and while he won’t be settling his grudge with Noons, he’ll be facing the very tough Thomas Denny in front of a rabid hometown crowd at the Stockton Arena. The always outspoken Cesar Gracie-trained fighter recently chatted with us about the origins of his bad attitude, why MMA fights should be held in a ring, and why steroids should be legal.

***

CAGEPOTATO.COM: Are you disappointed that you’re not fighting KJ Noons on Saturday?
NICK DIAZ: Sure. I want to get that fight over and done with as soon as I can. But I gotta handle the Denny fight first, because if I don’t win it won’t look too good on my part, as far as a future fight with KJ goes. But KJ doesn’t want to fight me — he likes to pick his fights. I figure the only way he’ll fight me is if they make him do it, so I gotta be the guy in line.

Have you seen anything in Thomas Denny’s game that concerns you?
Well, everything concerns me. He’s a good fighter. But I’m ready for this type of guy. I know I train harder than him. I don’t have time to run a school and teach kids; he seems to have time to do a lot of things. It’s a lot to have on the table if you’re trying to be a professional fighter too.

The California State Athletic Commission is notorious for pulling fighters at the last minute — you went through it yourself back in March. How are you dealing with the CSAC this time so that you don’t have to experience that again?
I don’t have an issue with them. It was a big misunderstanding — the commission apologized and we’re all cool. It cost me a lot of money, but let’s get past it. I’ve forgotten about it pretty much.

So your medical marijuana card won’t be a problem this time?
No, not at all. It was never a problem before. I planned on testing clean in the last fight, and I’m going to test clean in this fight like all the other fighters, so that’s not even an issue. You get some of your freedoms screwed with, with the commission being as tight and all. But they own the shit and they run the shit. They’ve been manipulating us from the beginning. We’re not stupid, and I feel like we should stand up for our rights. If guys want to do steroids in this sport, then power to ‘em. I don’t do steroids, I’m not into chemicals or needles, it completely freaks me out. I don’t even do Advil. But if these guys want to do steroids, I would like them to do steroids.

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The Women of Elite XC vs. Dana White

The UFC’s reluctance to put on female fights became a topic for discussion on Tuesday’s Elite XC conference call. Shayna Baszler and Christiane Cyborg, who will square off on the CBS portion of the card, each had different though equally telling responses:

QUESTION: When asked if he has any interest in setting up any female divisions in the UFC, Dana White politely questioned the depth of talent. What is your response to that?

Shayna Baszler: I don’t care what Dana White has to say. If he wants to question the depth of talent; that is just going to give companies like EliteXC one more thing to tap into that he’s not. He wants to question the depth of the female division, but every fight, every female fight that ProElite has put on has been a showcase of women’s talent and has been “fight of the night” type material. If he wants to give that avenue to others to pursue, then, fine. The more the merrier. I don’t care. I just want to fight the best. I don’t know, if he wants to question that, then I’d question the talent of his heavyweight division.

Cristiane Cyborg: I’d love to fight Dana White to show him how tough women are.

Oh, snap! Ok, not really. He never questioned their toughness, which makes me think Cyborg misunderstood the question, and there is probably just as much reason to question the depth of women’s MMA as there is to question the depth of the UFC’s current heavyweight division, so we’ll rule that one a tie for the moment.

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“Kid” Out of DREAM.5; Shinya Aoki Has Tights Picked Out

Kim Yamamoto
(“Wii Fit not as easy as looks.”)

DREAM.5 is only three days away — not the most convenient time for the lineup to fall apart. First, the bad news: Featherweight star Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto (pictured above) has injured his right knee in training and won’t fight at Monday’s show; the injury might put him on ice for six months. Even worse, a feature in the forthcoming issue of the Japanese tabloid Shukan Gendai alleges that Yamamoto is a regular user of marijuana. (Apparently, that’s looked down on over there; we Americans revere marijuana for its glaucoma-easing and gogoplata-inspiring properties.) Yamamoto last fought at K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! (12/31/07), where he smoked Rani Yahya via TKO.

Featherweight Hideo Tokoro is also in danger of dropping from the card, as he was rear-ended while driving on Wednesday, and suffered a back injury could take a week to heal completely. Strangely enough, FightOpinion reports that Tokoro’s scheduled bout against Takeshi Yamazaki was being promoted as an “ikemen” (hot guy) match. And if that’s what it takes to sell fights in Japan, I think I’m going to arrange a superfight between Hard Gay and Bruno.

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Paul Daley Puts Pro Elite’s Business in the Streets

Paul “Semtex” Daley is as talented a fighter as he is mercurial a personality, so it should be no surprise that he manages to court some controversy even while he can’t decide whether he wants to retire or fight. The British welterweight has oscillated between the two in recent months, but came back to easily dispatch Bojan Kosednar in Cage Warriors this weekend.

Apparently, Pro Elite (which has a contract with Daley) was unhappy about the situation and tried to get Daley to agree to a fight on Elite XC’s July 26 show in Stockton, Ca. The problem is that Daley says they offered him a fight with Rory Markham, the ex-IFL slugger who is fighting on the UFC’s July 19 show. Confused yet? Good. Let’s see if Daley can sort it out for us:

“They [Pro Elite] did offer me a fight on the July 26th card against Rory Markham, who we all know has signed with the UFC, so I thought it was a ploy to stop me fighting on Cage Warriors. I felt that if I had accepted the fight, they would have just cancelled on me.”

“A lot of other guys had fought twice in the same month for two different promotions, a non-Pro Elite and then a Pro Elite event – I said look, I’ll fight July 12th and I’ll fight July 26th, not a problem. I feel confident in this fight and all being well I would get out uninjured and with a victory and I’d fly straight to America. They didn’t want to hear any of that.”

“If I had been Nick Diaz, it wouldn’t have been a problem. The guy smokes weed, starts riots on TV, doesn’t make weight, fights whoever the fuck he wants, and there’s no problem there. It’s a bit of a piss-take really.”

Oh man, he just said something about Nick Diaz that could accurately be described as negative. That’s the MMA equivalent of saying “Beetlejuice” three times. You just know Diaz is going to pop up out of nowhere with a semi-intelligible response any minute now.

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Even Thomas Denny Can’t Believe He’s Fighting Nick Diaz


(‘I’m fighting who, now? You sure?’)

Remember when Nick Diaz and KJ Noons (along with KJ Noons’ dad) got into it after the last Elite XC event in Hawaii and it all seemed like a staged confrontation designed to build up a rematch between them for the July 26 show on CBS? And then remember how Elite XC announced that the event would be in Stockton, Ca., Diaz’s hometown, but instead of Noons, Diaz would be fighting Thomas “Wildman” Denny? Remember how weird and completely counter-intuitive that seemed?

Yeah, well, apparently Denny couldn’t believe it either. As he told MMA Rated, it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense:

I was really surprised. I kinda think everybody agreed with that, you know the little thing that happened, the little eruption afterwards or whatever. Nick is a showman. I don’t know if you know; he means it all the time. But he comes off as kind of a jackass and a lot of people don’t think he has a lot of class in the sport, and that little eruption that happened afterwards and flipping people off and whatever, I thought, “Man, yeah, they’ll definitely book that”. But I guess Noons wants some time off and wants to take the fight serious, where Nick wants to fight as much as he can.

Good work, Elite XC. Even your fighters are baffled by your decisions.

Denny is doing his part to turn up the heat in advance of his bout with Diaz though, and he didn’t stop at calling Diaz “kind of a jackass.” No, he’s just getting started.

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