So unless you've been living under a rock you're aware that Nick Diaz's manager Cesar Gracie has been telling anyone that'll listen, that the Strikeforce champions next fight will be in boxing. Well it looks like the Gracie camp has upped the anti. A: By putting pen to paper on a contract to box past his prime former 168lbs champ Jeff Lacey. and B: By going on MMA Junkie and essentially telling Dana to put up or shut up.
"Barring something like (UFC president) Dana White telling us, 'Hey, we really need you to fight GSP at such-and-such a date and it conflicts with [boxing] – barring that, we're going to fight Lacy," said Diaz manager and trainer Cesar Gracie."
So basically he's trying to hold the UFC's big money fight for the welter weight division hostage with a totally irrelevant boxing match between a 1-0 boxer and a 25-4 boxer coming out of retirement. A fight that probably will not make television. Fightlinker weighs in with just how stupid this is and it's potential repercussions.
The message being sent by Cesar Gracie and Nick Diaz should be crystal clear to a guy like Dana White: offer Nick Diaz a tasty check and a fight with Georges St. Pierre and this boxing business goes away quietly. Play it cheap and one of the star draws in the promotion you just bought fucks off to the land of Queensbury Rules, giving you a massive promotional headache in the process. Such a strategy might have worked before the Zuffa buyout of Strikeforce, but now they've put themselves into the arena with a guy that takes this kind of shit personally. This is a fact that Nick Diaz and his management have made a critical error in overlooking. The logical reaction would be for Dana to pony up the money and give Diaz what he wants. Which he was probably ready to do anyways. But now the gauntlet has been thrown down, and we all know with 99.9% certainty that Dana's reaction will be something along the lines of "Fuck that fucking motherfucker. I run this fucking business. He can rot in Strikeforce for the next two years." Dana may not be able to stop Diaz from boxing, but he can definitely stop him from fighting in the UFC and having a meaningful MMA career.
Cesar Gracie has over played his hand, and created a tense negotiating environment, not to mention a potential legal head ache for both Mr.Diaz and Zuffa if they can get the big money fight with GSP. Randy Couture famously went up against the Zuffa machine and couldn't hardball them with a fedor fight. So I don't think Jeff "Left Hook" Lacey is gonna cut it for Diaz, even if it is more legally plausible to get done, it wont be worth it if they do.
It's Fighting Stupid