Cesar Gracie apeared Monday on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour and discussed Nick Diaz. Gracie is both long-time manager and trainer to the controversial welterweight.
At the UFC 158 post-fight press conference Diaz said he had never paid taxes, and was probably going to jail as a result. The remarks made it past the MMA space, and onto the front page of Yahoo.
Gracie said he believed Diaz had in fact paid his taxes, even overpaid, but that there were clearly some organizational issues that had to be addressed.
"I think he misspoke," said Gracie. "It's about filing. When I talked to Nick a couple of years ago it was about some tax issue he was having."
"He has paid taxes. I think he misspoke. It's about filing... He's not in any trouble that we're aware of. We haven't gotten any notices or anything."
"It's kind of weird for me to speak about stuff like that Because when we talk about fighting, it's fighting, but when you talk about taxes, hey, I'm not an accountant, obviously and that's a man's personal business. But, since he alluded to it, people have been texting me worried about it. It's fine. He has paid taxes. That's the weird thing. He would pay the tax, and probably even more than he owed, I think, in the past few years... So he has paid hundreds of thousands in taxes... I think his issue is he needs to properly file.
"He's got to get together with a good accountant and get his stuff in order like everybody else."
"For him to even bring that up after a fight was kind of off the wall."
A Canada based attorney Jonathan Tweedale said he had a personal relationship with Diaz, and offered a slightly different assessment of the mess.
"Nick thought Cesar was taking care of (taxes) for him, and Cesar wasn't," said Tweedale. "It doesn't mean Nick is screwed, but it does mean things need to be figured out."
Cesar however said he did not manage Diaz's money, and said Tweedale does not represent Diaz. Further, Gracie said he had previously referred Nick to several accountants.
"He never went to see them," said Gracie. "His girlfriend and his previous girlfriend have taken him to see CPAs. What they did with that is none of my business.
"He's a grown man."
Gracie was conspicuously absent from Diaz's corner, but Cesar explained his absence was due to a minor paperwork issue only.
"What happened was, I got there kind of late the day before," said Gracie. "I missed the meeting with the commission out there and they wanted everybody there. They were kind of sweating Nick and those guys about me. I put my paperwork in much earlier, obviously. And, I've never dealt with the Montreal commission before, so all of a sudden they said, ‘he's got to be here to do this and that.' They needed a picture or something like that. So, unfortunately for us, Nate didn't have that. So I brought my cousin out there, Kron Gracie. He has a fight coming up, so he needed to train while he was out there. So he brought him out there and he was just going to watch because Nate doesn't like to corner his brother that much. And they switched it up real quick, that's what happened."
On the subject of Diaz retiring, Gracie said he was not sure, but added that Diaz was motivated by big fights.
"I never listen to anybody after a fight. I've been in this sport for many years, before it was a sport. The emotional level is so high after a fight. And there's so many things that you're thinking in a different way than what you're going to think the day after a fight or the week after a fight. That's why I think these fighters shouldn't retire in a ring. Do it before a fight or after a fight. Everything is up to Nick. I kind of understand his mentality. If he has to fight young guys who haven't put their time in the UFC or MMA, it's not motivational to Nick. He wants big fights. Like, guys in the news that people are talking about. He wants big fights to motivate himself."
Gracie also said Georges St-Pierre was suspiciously aware of Nick's techniques and strategy.
"GSP really knew the moves that Nick was going to do from bottom," said Gracie. "It was kind of interesting. Nick does stuff that's very unique. Stuff that he does in grappling, but he doesn't necessarily do it in fighting.
"It was like 'wait a minute, that guy is one step ahead, like he knows exactly what."
"It was kind of odd. Like someone, somewhere from our team, not a current member, but I don't know. It's just one of those things, but whatever. I don't want to make that an issue at all."
The remarks parallel comments Diaz made in the Octagon to commentator Joe Rogan.
"I don't know how he knew what I was gonna do," said Diaz. "I don't want to make excuses... He blocked the kneebar, he blocked the roll... I don't know how he saw that coming. It was kind of funny."
So what do you think UG? Glad it wasn't the IRS pulling him over last night?