By Kevin Iole
LAS VEGAS -- UFC president Dana White has routinely given welterweight contender Nick Diaz a hard time for skipping news conferences to promote fights.
In September, Diaz was briefly booted off of UFC 137 after he no-showed news conferences in Toronto and Las Vegas. Circumstances put him back on the card, but it remains a hot topic five months later.
On Thursday at the final pre-fight news conference for UFC 143 at Mandalay Bay, Diaz and White were asked several times about his stance on news conferences.
"He's made it very clear, he's not here to make any friends," White said of Diaz. "He's not looking to have any barbecues over at his house with anyone from the MMA world. He's here to fight. That's it, and I'm cool with that. You just have to show up to press conferences and do the stuff and now, he's doing all of the stuff that needs to be done."
White, though, skipped a press conference last week and didn't do what he needed to do.
White was unhappy with the UFC on Fox 2 card in Chicago on Jan. 28. Rather than say anything that he might regret, White skipped the pos-fight news conference and flew on his private jet back to Las Vegas, leaving UFC media relations director Ant Evans to run the show.
Pressed on his absence Thursday, White grinned impishly.
"Yeah, I wasn't in the mood," he said. "I can not go if I don't want to."
He later said, "I usually try to skip press conferences where I know I'm going to, you know, [lose my temper]."
The next time that Diaz, or anyone else misses a news conference, he needs only to point to White's absence at the UFC on Fox 2 media event.
Bringing that up should be good for at least one get out of jail free card.