Cesar Gracie, Nick Diaz's manager and head of the Cesar Gracie team, spoke out today about the news his star pupil had been removed from his fight with Georges St. Pierre at UFC 137. MMA Junkie has the full list of quotes, but here is the essential component:
"I've stuck up for Nick, even when he was wrong before," Gracie said. "But he's let a lot of people down. He's let his team down. We all bought plane tickets to Vegas. We got hotel rooms booked, paid for. We've got all that, and Nick just decided not to go to something he's supposed to. They're paying him a lot of money, and in this economy where people don't have money, he's blessed. He should be thanking God every night how blessed he is.
"And instead, he's not getting on a plane to go to Vegas. I'm extremely disappointed. He's done a lot of stuff, but this is the worst of it. If I were him, I would be begging Dana White to get my job back and work your way up to a title shot at some point."
"I'm not a psychologist," he said. "I personally think there's some kind of social anxiety happening here with Nick. Dana said, 'You've got to play the game this much.' And this isn't even playing the game. This is about being a man and being responsible. And Nick has done neither in this situation.
Gracie also states he made multiple offers and attempts to get Diaz to the airport or to go with him on his trip, but was rebuffed at every turn. Gracie did not speculate as to whether the UFC would cut Diaz or how this episode would affect his relationship with Diaz going forward.
More on this story as it develops.