Even when he wasn’t on the line, Diaz was the center of attention
In failing to be on the line at the outset of the call, Diaz became the focus, with Twitter lighting up in a 140-character, text-driven game of “Where’s Waldo?” starring the Stockton, California native.
He became a trending topic, and prompted UFC President Dana White to tweet that his own PR staff had dropped the ball with Diaz regarding his participation on the call.
After a 37 minute question and answer period with the three initial attendees, Diaz arrived on the line, and the call became an epic event.
Here’s the highlights of what the new, old UFC 137 headliner had to say this afternoon.
Q: What happened in the last 24 hours? Why did you miss the call or why were you late to the call?
Diaz: I didn’t know there was a call. What happened? I didn’t even know there was a call. Nobody call me in the last week, or the last couple days and told me there was a call.
I trained last night, I went home, had something to eat, when to sleep, woke up, my phone was dead, and then my brother’s telling me I’m supposed to be on a call. I don’t know anything about it; it’s as simple as that.
Q: So it’s more just the circumstances of you not getting notice?
Diaz: Yeah, I didn’t get any notice for this call until about half-hour ago, or no — not even that — 15 minutes ago.
Q: A lot has gone on with this fight with main events and injuries and things like that. Do you have any regrets about the lead-up to this fight or do you really not let that stuff affect you?
Diaz: In what way? In training or what do you mean?
Q: Well, you were off the main event because you didn’t go to the press conferences, then you seemed off the card, then you’re in the co-main event, then you’re in the main event. Seems to be a lot of turmoil?
Diaz: I’ve just done my best to try not to focus on what’s going on, you know, and just try to live every day like it’s not a big deal. I don’t know what’s going to happen with me, but it’s not going to make a difference whether or not I whine or cry about it, or panic to get things done. I’m just going to do what I always do — train, and when it’s time to fight, I go fight.
hat really depends on whether or not I’m ready, and that’s really about me, not whatever is going on in the world or who I’m fighting, who I’m not fighting. I’m not really going to have a choice on that; my job is to fight when I have to fight, when I’m told to fight, and that’s what I do well. Everything else is just going to be a whole ‘nother task than fighting itself.
Q: Do you think you’re being treated fairly leading up into this whole UFC 137, return to the UFC or do you think perhaps you made any missteps?
Diaz: I’d rather kind of just plead the fifth on that because I didn’t make any mistakes as far as training and doing what I do. I’ve been there putting in 100% and I always thought that’s what’s important; people want to see good fights, good fighters, and that’s what I’m trying to bring to the table.
Q: How do you feel about fighting BJ for your introduction into the UFC?
Diaz: I’m not happy about it at all. I’m fighting a guy that’s my friend, or was my friend and now I’m fighting this guy. I was set to fight — I was signed to fight a certain guy, I thought we had a deal, that’s kind of where I’m at, that’s how it set off. Of course I’m going to deal… these are hard times, just like they’ve always been, and I didn’t expect them to get any easier.
This definitely doesn’t make anything easier. I don’t like fighting people I already know, or I’ve already met or I’ve trained with, have video on me, because we spent a lot of time training together. It’s kind of a shady feeling going into a fight like that. I’m just doing what my manager says. They work it out in the gym training, and then they tell me, “Do this or that.” I’m just doing what I’m told.
Q: Do you think this is a better fight for you stylistically or would you have preferred to fight GSP?
Diaz: I would have preferred to fight GSP, of course, because it’s not like I’m fighting someone I already know. I’m fighting for the title. That’s why I started this; that’s why I came to the UFC — to fight for the title. I came to fight for the money, I came to fight for the title, and that was the GSP fight, so now I’m not getting that fight.
I think I had the right skills and the right tools to do the job in that fight. I don’t know whether this fight is going to make me come off looking better or worse. I know that, I think that Georges comes out — he’s a little bit bigger than BJ size-wise — and he’d be able to hold BJ and stall for the rounds, and I don’t think he would have been able to do that to me, especially in a five-round fight. I was looking forward to that, and I think that was going to be interesting to see how he was going to deal with me, or how I was going to deal with him.
This fight, it’s a completely different fight. I think BJ is a lot better fighter to be honest with you, on a technical standpoint. He’s much better at jiu-jitsu, boxing. I don’t think he should fight at this weight. I don’t think he looked so great in his last fight at 155-pounds for whatever reason, but yeah, I think he’s a much better fighter than GSP all-around.