When Georges St. Pierre went down with injury a few weeks ago, forcing him out of a main event match-up with Carlos Condit at UFC 137, the UFC had a godsend in the form of another fan-friendly pairing on the card between popular welterweights BJ Penn and Nick Diaz. As expected, Diaz and Penn went to war in the showâ€™s featured tilt and delivered one of 2011â€™s most memorable in-ring encounters.
Now Diazâ€™s manger, Cesar Gracie, believes his client deserves to be taken care of financially for the impact he had on helping dig UFC 137 out of the hole GSPâ€™s withdrawal created.
â€œYou canâ€™t pull a guy off a card and then bring him back on,â€ Gracie began in an interview with Sherdog Radio before mimicking the UFCâ€™s position, saying, â€œâ€˜Oh, heâ€™s not good enough to fight. We pulled him out of the card. He canâ€™t be in the main event. Yeah, here you go. Oh, wait a minute, guess what happened? Our little star guy over here, his knee hurts. Oh my God, we need Nick Diaz. Letâ€™s put him back in the main event.â€™â€
â€œEverybody wants to see that fight,â€ Gracie continued on Diazâ€™s dance with Penn. â€œHe delivers. Well, little star guy didnâ€™t fight and Nick Diaz did, but they pulled a lot of money from Nickâ€™s purse because it wasnâ€™t structured for him to make as much if it wasnâ€™t GSP, even though he was the main event now and put the people in the seats.â€
â€œNick Diaz saved that card. OK?â€ Gracie boldly stated. â€œThatâ€™s what people need to remember when they talk about responsibility, is that he showed up, hamstring injury, knee injury, whatever. He had the same thing. Heâ€™s the guy that showed up. Heâ€™s the guy that fought his heart out, him and BJ Penn. They put on a show. Theyâ€™re two great warriors. They saved the UFC that night.â€
Though some might argue Diaz leapfrogging Condit for a title-shot the “Natural Born Killer” had been promised prior to Saturday nightâ€™s show could be a reward in itself, it could also be argued that Gracie makes a fair point in terms of Diazâ€™s role as a headliner and the effect it had on buyrates/tickets.
In the end, the famed teacher and outspoken manager made his confidence clear regarding the partiesâ€™ ability to find a satisfactory resolution.
â€œWeâ€™re going to put everything on the table, and Iâ€™m confident that weâ€™re going to be able to iron all of this out and that Dana (White) will make it right,â€ Gracie concluded.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE