It has been announced that UFC veteran Nick Diaz has signed a contract with Pride Fighting Championships and he will be a participant on the February 24th show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Diaz will be dropping from 170 to 160 so he can fight in the Pride lightweight division.
Originally it was expected that Diaz would fight Thomas Denny this weekend on the Gracie FC card but after the event was cancelled Diaz was forced to pursue his options elsewhere.
Nick Diaz spent the better part of three years with the UFC amassing a record 6-4 during that time. Diaz’s future looked very bright in the beginning as he racked up two impressive victories over Jeremy Jackson and Robbie Lawler. After amassing a couple more victories things took a sudden turn for the worse. Diaz was caught in a slump where he lost three straight to Diego Sanchez, Joe Riggs and Sean Sherk, all by unanimous decision. Diaz was able to get himself back on track winning in his last two appearances in the octagon but his UFC contract recently ended and with that he has decided to test his options elsewhere.
Diaz’s opponent will be announced in the coming days, right now it seems like Diaz may be on Gomi’s radar.
Elite XC Live Events President Gary Shaw announced yesterday at a news conference that the promotion has signed former UFC welterweight contender Nick Diaz.
Diaz’s manager and BJJ coach Cesar Gracie confirmed the signing yesterday and said that Diaz should be making his Elite XC debut sometime in May.
As with all of the other small MMA promotions, Gracie also added that Diaz would be able to fight in other promotions while under contract. That was a stipulation probably put in because of the postponed Gracie Fighting Championships event that Diaz was supposed to compete in this weekend and may be called on to in the future if the event is rescheduled.
News and Notes
- Former UFC Welterweight Champion Carlos Newton will take on Matt Lindland in a “superfight” on the IFL fight card Feb. 2 in Houston.
- A few days ago Seth Petruzelli released a MySpace bulletin which said that his fight at UFC Fight Night 8 was off. Petruzelli recently released another bulletin saying he may still be on the card.
Petruzelli’s bulletin said “Hey guys, I still have to train and go weigh in the 25th for the UFC…my opponent injured his ankle. They are trying to find me a new fight on short notice but it doesn’t look good. So I still have to go ready to fight just in case. Thanks and I hope to be back fighting for you all soon!”
- As we reported yesterday, The Gracie Fighting Championships: Evolution event has been postponed due to unknown circumstances. This is an unfortunate turn of events as the GFC: Evolution card was looking very solid with UFC veterans Jeff Monson, Wes Sims, Nick Diaz, Renato Verissimo, and others. Hopefully the get things sorted out and find a new date for the show soon. The response so far from fighters and fans is fairly negative, here is what Randy Harris and Marco Avellan had to say on ‘The Underground’.
Marcos Avellan - “I’m obviously super bummed out. One of my biggest disapointments was for all the people who made a lot of sacrifices so that I could train for this fight. My brother and other FFA instructors picked up the slack for me and taught all my classes for the past six weeks. My wife had to deal with my temper tantrums because of the weight cutting and training - I’m the first to admit I’m a bit difficult to deal with when training full time and dieting.
And then Lloyd Irvin trained me personally for a week… and Eric “El Tigre” Castanos and Paulino Hernandez took a ton of time out of their personal schedules to train me.
So thank you to all of them, you guys did an AWESOME job getting me ready and we’ll do it again one more time when the fight is rescheduled.
In the meantime, to my students, I’m back! I miss all you guys and am looking forward to teaching some classes again!
And about the GFC, I think they are trying their best to resolve this the best they can. I used to promote shows (not nearly as big as the GFC) and it is a TOUGH business. A lot of people don’t realize some of the crazy monkey wrenches that get thrown your way as a promoter. Believe me… if anyone is suffering from this… they are taking it the WORST. I really think they did everything they could to treat the fighters A+... I genuinely believe they probably had no other choice.
So a strong recovery to all those involved with this show - fighters, spectators, and promoters.
Randy Harris - “Yes I was told postponed but as far as I am concerned it has been cancelled. I wouldn’t plan on attending it ever again. People have spent money on plane tickets and more and they are now out! BAD BAD business!”
- 01/13/07 American Bushido: “2007 Grand Prix Round 1” in McCook, IL.
- 01/13/07 Battle in the Cage VI: “Aftermath” in Denver, CO.
The Gracie Fighting Championship: Evolution, scheduled for January 20th in Miami, has been postponed. No reason was given for the postponement, but the Fight Network has suggested lagging ticket sales are the reason.
From the GFC website
The Gracie Fighting Championships: Evolution event will no longer be held on January 20th. We will be strategically rescheduling our show for another date shortly.
We sincerely regret whatever inconvenience this may cause those of you who have made plans to attend the event. Please stay tuned as we will be back soon, and will produce some of the greatest MMA available in 2007.
The event was supposed to feature UFC vet Nick Diaz vs Thomas Denny, Renato Verissimo challenging Jake Shields as well as a heavyweight main event of Wes Sims against Jeff Monson. Monson was a late replacement for Mario Sperry, who pulled out of the fight earlier in the week.
Recently there has been a great deal of talk as to where Nick Diaz would sign for his next fight. It’s now official, Nick Diaz has signed to fight Thomas Denny on the Gracie Fighting Championships card. The event will be held January 20th in Miami, Florida and the show will be offered on pay-per-view.
Cesar Gracie also stated in a previous interview that both Nick Diaz and Jake Sheilds would be returning on the same card so now we can assume that Jake Sheilds is another big name that will be making an appearance on the January 20th card.
Earlier this week we made a post reporting that Nick Diaz would be returning to the UFC against a unknown opponent. We now know Diaz’s opponent at UFC 65 will be Graison Tibau.
Graison Tibau is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter who sports a mixed martial arts record of 11-3-0. Tibau is currently on a two fight win with victories over Fabricio Cames and Jedzrzej Kubski.
GracieFighter.com is reporting that Nick Diaz and Pedor Rizzo will be returning to action in November.
Nick Diaz will be fighting in November for the UFC. He’ll either be on ‘The Ultimate Fighter IV’ Finale which takes place November 11th in Las Vegas or he’ll fighting at UFC 65 which takes place on November 18th. No opponent has been named yet.
Pedro Rizzo will be making his return to the cage after suffering a tough knock-out loss to Roman Zentsov at Pride 31: “Dreamers” which took place Febuary 26th, 2006. Rizzo’s fight is rumored to be Bakersfield, California some time in November.
Here are some post-fight video interviews with the fighters from UFC 62: Liddell vs. Sobral.
Here is my preview of UFC 62: Bitter Rivals. I only wrote my thoughts for the main card but the full card looks like this…
Main Card Bouts:
Chuck Liddell vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral
Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar
Josh Neer vs. Nick Diaz
Hermes Franca vs. Jamie Varner
Christian Wellisch vs. Cheick Kongo
Yushin Okami vs. Alan Belcher
Rob MacDonald vs. Eric Schafer
Wes Combs vs. Wilson Gouveia
David Heath vs. Cory Walmsley
American Top Team fighter Thiago Alves has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 62 fight against Josh Neer. Alves is suffering from an illness which will not allow him to fight.
The UFC first approached tough welterweight Jake Sheilds but he didn’t feel he’d have enough time to cut weight so instead the UFC opted to go with the very candid Nick Diaz.