Filter through all the threats of lawsuits and legal mumbo jumbo and the motivation behind Nick Diaz's complaints about irregularities at the UFC 158 weigh-in on March 15 in Montreal boils down to one salient fact:
He wants a rematch.
Diaz did a magnificent job selling his fight against Georges St-Pierre, a bout few experts gave him a chance to win. That it became one of the top five best-selling UFC pay-per-views in company history is, in large part, a testament to Diaz's work in the weeks leading up to the fight.
He gave fans who should have known that St-Pierre's dominant wrestling would control the fight reason to believe he might win it.
St-Pierre fans turned out in droves, hoping to see their hero give the brash and cocky anti-hero his comeuppance.
All of that was attributable to Diaz's media appearance before the fights. He appeals to a different generation of fans that the UFC doesn't often reach, and he brought them out in large numbers.
But now, nearly two weeks since he was thrashed in the same manner that Jon Fitch, Jake Shields, Josh Koscheck and so many other St-Pierre victims were thrashed, Diaz is making noise about filing a lawsuit against the Quebec commission.
At issue is whether the Quebec commission allowed St-Pierre to weigh more than the UFC limit of 170 pounds for welterweight title fights. A video surfaced of UFC executive Michael Mersch telling Diaz prior to the weigh-in that the Quebec commission wouldn't count the decimal on the digital scale.
In the video, Mersch tells Diaz, "The good news is, they don't count the decimal. If you're at 170.2, it's 170. If you're at 170.9, it's 170."
In an email to MMA Fighting, a representative for the Quebec commission said that it is standard practice in Quebec to not count the decimal in title fights. But Carlos Condit, who fought St-Pierre in November in a title fight in Montreal, told reporters he was never told that the decimal wouldn't be counted.
Stephane Patry, a promoter in Quebec and St-Pierre's ex-manager, said on Twitter that the commission's standard practice has always been to count the decimal.
The decimal has to be counted. There is no gray area. A commission that is doing its job understands that 170 pounds for a title fight means 170.0 or less.
That said, the Diaz argument is ludicrous. First, no one from the Diaz team has proven that St-Pierre was actually 170.9. And no one from the Diaz team stood near the scale to keep an eye on the read-out, as would have been its right.
And if St-Pierre were 170.9, he could have taken his shorts off and undoubtedly would have made 170.0. Hundreds of fighters who have missed weight by a pound or less have been able to drop their shorts, weigh-in in the nude and make the number.
But let's say that the Under Armour underwear that St-Pierre was wearing to the weigh-in weighed less than the nine-tenths of a pound he needed to make the weight. Say for the sake of argument that they weighed sixth-tenths of a pound. That would have meant that St-Pierre had an hour to lose four-tenths of a pound.
Diaz attorney Jonathan Tweedale said doing so would have drained St-Pierre to the point where it would have impacted his performance in the fight.
While St-Pierre looked uncharacteristically gaunt at the final news conference held the day before the weigh-in, it is almost laughable to suggest that losing less than a half-pound in an hour would have markedly weakened him for a fight that began about 29 hours after the weigh-in.
"When you're cutting 20, 25 pounds, that last pound is a bitch," Tweedale said. "Who knows if he could have made it? I know this: Georges would have gassed in that fight if he had tried to make weight. Nick said he couldn't believe the power moves in the absence of any technique that Georges was able to do in the fight. Would he have been able to do those if he had been forced to sweat off the rest of the weight?"
Tweedale said he believes that the result of the fight should be overturned and Diaz should be given an immediate rematch.
Quebec doesn't have the authority to order a rematch. It's the UFC's title and the UFC's promotion and it is under no obligation to put on a rematch. What's worse for Diaz is that UFC president Dana White sees Tweedale's move for the stunt it is.
Reached via text message, White wrote, "If GSP weighed 170 or 170.9 doesn't change the fact that [Diaz] got dominated."
Taking this kind of action, coming off as crybabies, can't help Diaz's image. He's always come across as the renegade tough guy, willing to fight anyone anywhere at any time. He criticized St-Pierre before the fight for St-Pierre's indifference toward a fight with middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Diaz said he would love to fight Silva.
Parse that statement. Diaz is saying he would have been OK to fight Silva, who walks around at almost 230 pounds and would have weighed well over 200 by the time the bell rang to start the fight, but was upset that St-Pierre may have been – and the operative phrase there is, may have been a half-pound over – and thinks those extra ounces determined the outcome.
What this really amounts to is an over-zealous representative trying to do the best he can for his client.
The Quebec commission's handling of this situation has been poor, at best. The UFC should not agree to go back to Quebec until it demonstrates that it can regulate a fight according to the rules. The UFC should also make it practice at future weigh-ins to have a camera focused on the scale to prevent the kind of claim that Tweedale is making.
But Tweedale proved nothing and did nothing other than to get some MMA media and fans stirred up.
His goal is to get his client a rematch that he clearly hasn't earned.
Diaz remains a compelling figure in the sport, though, and he could easily fight his way back into the title picture. If he goes out and beats the likes of Condit and Rory MacDonald in his next few outings, he'll get his second crack at St-Pierre.
And then he can make sure he has someone better monitor what's going on at the scales.
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