UFC

Diaz drama continues

UFC 158: Diaz torments GSP further at pre-fight presser
UFC 158: Diaz torments GSP further at pre-fight presser
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A.J. Perez

A.J. Perez previously worked at USA Today, AOL and CBSSports.com, covering beats ranging from performance-enhancing drugs to the NHL. He has also been a finalist for an Associated Press Sports Editors award for investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter.

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MONTREAL

There was no missing Nick Diaz on Thursday.

A day after he skipped open workouts, a Nick Diaz who was at times contrite, confrontational and maybe a tad too forthcoming held court just a few feet away from Saturday’s opponent, champ Georges St-Pierre, at the UFC 158 news conference at Bell Centre.

“I just did a little more than I did last time,” Diaz said of his marijuana use. “I’m sorry if I don’t pass the test. I have passed many of them before."

UFC president Dana White wasn’t surprised by Diaz’s antics — or even his admission that he’s still using pot. It wasn’t his only verbal volley involving drugs, as he claimed St-Pierre was on steroids, something that drew a strong rebuke from the longtime welterweight champ.

“I’m not on steroids,” St-Pierre said. "I have never taken one in my life.”

The drama continued at the weigh-in on Friday as the two had to be separated by UFC president Dana White and others. Diaz edged in with an elbow during the square-off and St-Pierre took exception. No punches were thrown.

During Thursday’s news conference, it was Diaz’s admission of his own drug use — although hardly performance-enhancing — that may have caused the most headaches for UFC management. This, after all, is Diaz’s first bout back since his license was suspended by Nevada after a positive test for marijuana at UFC 143 in February 2012.

“It’s not going to be good,” White said if Diaz tests positive again. “I would say we would probably have to (release Diaz), right?”

“Do you know how many times I’ve talked to this guy?” White said. “Even when we did his new deal, I said, ‘Nick, you cannot test positive. Can you not smoke for a month, three weeks (or) whatever it is?’ I’m not their dad. I’m not the police. You can only do what you can do. You can tell by dealing with this guy that he doesn’t give a (expletive).”

White probably would have enough issues if Diaz won the fight without a positive test. Diaz can be combative, and his no-show on Wednesday wasn’t his first missed media obligation — a definite no-no for a reigning champ.

“We would be dealing with a very different situation than we ever had before,” White said. “If he wins on Saturday, it’ll be interesting.”

St-Pierre largely sat back and let Diaz go, minus the rebuttal when it came to the steroid allegation. It was in contrast to last week’s conference call with reporters, when St-Pierre often countered verbally, even calling Diaz “an uneducated fool” at one point.

This whole process seems to be wearing on St-Pierre, who has held the belt continuously since 2008.

“It’s not fun to be here,” St-Pierre said. “I’m cutting weight. We are all cutting weight. We are all in the same boat. We get asked the same questions over and over again. It’s getting old.”

It certainly sounded like St-Pierre is at least alluding to retirement.

“I have never seen Georges like this before a fight,” White said. “He’s been really nasty and short with everybody. He’s coming off knee surgery and had a tough title defense against Carlos Condit. A lot of people are talking crap about him. He’s in Montreal again. All that stuff wears on you.”

Among the other nuggets from the news conference and White’s scrum with reporters afterward:

* White said if Johny Hendricks beats Condit on the undercard on Saturday, Hendricks would get an immediate shot at the title. Condit, who lost to St-Pierre in November, won’t necessarily have the same opportunity.

* Ronda Rousey’s next fight hasn’t been scheduled, but it will be a pay-per-view event when it is. She "is a pay-per-view star," White said.

* Also, according to White, Mark Hunt will get a heavyweight title shot if he beats Junior dos Santos at UFC 160 in May.

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