August 17, 2009
Fight fans may not think it's a big deal. Clearly Nick Diaz didn't think it was big deal when he forced Strikeforce/Showtime to dump him from Saturday's card because he refused to show for a California State Athletic Commission administered prefight drug test. But the promotion and the network sounded like they were livid with Diaz and his flaky ways.
Showtime's VP of Sports Ken Hershman pulled no punches in saying Diaz is close to making himself a non-factor as a main event fighter with the network (2:30 mark):
"You gotta be able to show up and if you can't and you're not reliable then who can count on you and where are you going to go with your career?"
Hershman says this needs to be a wakeup call for Diaz and his camp:
"Either you're going to do it right or not do it at all. You only get one or two shots at that and then it's done. I don't see how I can promote and spends hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars promoting somebody who's not going to show up. It's just bad business."
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker didn't pull any punches either (0:50 mark):
"We can support him and get him licensed but if Showtime gets to that point where they're done, then it might be a tough road."
Coker also said don't get too worked about Diaz signing a boxing promotional deal. It's simply an option to box after his MMA career or Strikeforce is done. Diaz's contract runs through next December and Strikeforce holds on the deal as well.
During the postfight press conference, Coker openly spoke about his desire to matchup Jay Hieron against Diaz for the Strikeforce welterweight title. He sounded optomistic that Diaz fights were still promotable but it may be all over with Showtime if another stunt arises.
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