It's Nick being Nick. The elder Diaz brother is one of the top 20 fighters in the world but the kid is a handful for any promoter. Diaz, who has boasted many times in the past that he's a marijuana smoker, no showed his mandatory test with the California State Athletic Commission on Friday. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told the gathered media during a conference call today that the deadline is 3 p.m. PT. With all the uncertainty, the backup plan is now Jesse Taylor, of Ultimate Fighter 7 fame, squaring off against Jay Hieron. This fight has become a disaster. Remember Hieron was a late replacement for Joe Riggs.
Coker is taking the Diaz drama in stride:
"We've been in the business for 25 years -- in the martial arts fight business," he said. "And you know, when I was in my early 20's, and something like this happened, I would freak out, and get upset. But over the years, you know, you learn that it's part of the game. And you don't even try to create logic behind it because sometimes there's no logic behind the thought-process of, you know, what has happened or a fighter's decision or a manager's decision or just the circumstances that unfold because of circumstances."
UPDATE: DIAZ OFFICIALLY OFF THE CARD ACCORDING TO CSAC:
According to MMAWeekly, Bill Douglas, Assistant Executive Officer of the CSAC, said there would be no Monday test:
“If Mr. Diaz is in fact in route to Los Angeles, then it is news to us because he has not notified us and considering that we are administering the test,” wrote Douglas, “I suggest that he or someone from his camp ‘let’s their fingers do the walking,’ ‘reaches out to touch someone,’ or any other colorful catch phrase that you can think of stemming from an old telephone commercial."
Hieron said on the conference call that he wasn't going to freak out, after having several fights canceled or delayed over the last 18 months:
"I think I've been through everything bad a fighter could be through in his career. So I just chalk it up and keep going forward. Really, I can't control that situation with them, so I try to put it out of my mind. You know, everything will turn out the way it's supposed to, and I can't really stress about the situation. The good thing about it is that I've been through all this stuff before, and it helps me get through this."
Coker said that he had spoken with Diaz's trainer Cesar Gracie. He also mention the promotion had booked a flight for Diaz to get down to Los Angeles from Stockton this afternoon. This is a huge blow to the card and another slap in the face of Hieron, who loses out on a chance at a victory over a major name.
Listen here for the entire call.