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10/6/09 3:18 AM
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JT42382
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Edited: 10/06/09 3:18 AM
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 - NICK DIAZ CAMP RESPONDS TO HIERON ASSERTIONS
Monday, October 05, 2009 - by Steven Marrocco - MMAWeekly.com

As Strikeforce’s fall schedule takes shape, several of the promotion’s marquee fighters have grown antsy, and they’re pointing fingers at each other.

Jay Hieron, a July addition to the welterweight stable, wants to fight Nick Diaz and says he is tired of waiting in limbo after choosing Strikeforce over the UFC.

“I don’t have any control over it,” he told MMAWeekly.com Monday afternoon. “It definitely gets frustrating, man. It’s the story of my career.”

Diaz’s manager/trainer, Cesar Gracie, says his fighter is not to blame.

“It has nothing to do with Nick,” Gracie told MMAWeekly.com Monday afternoon. “He doesn’t care who he fights, and that includes Jay Hieron. It’s all Strikeforce.”

Hieron was set to fight Nick Diaz at Carano vs. Cyborg on Aug. 15 for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title, but wound up fighting Jesse Taylor after the California State Athletic Commission removed Diaz for failing to appear at a pre-fight drug test. It was the second time Hieron’s opponent fell through this year.

Hieron, a former IFL welterweight champion, said Diaz is responsible for the holdup.

“I went with Strikeforce for the title shot,” Hieron told Steve Cofield of Yahoo! Sports last week. “It's not necessarily their fault what happened, so I can’t really put that much blame on them. But now, Nick Diaz, I'm calling Strikeforce every week going, 'What's up, what’s going on with my title shot?’ And pretty much it’s Diaz... but Diaz is (expletive) around.”

Gracie said Diaz wants to fight on Strikeforce’s live network television debut, set for a two-hour telecast Nov. 7 in suburban Chicago.

“Realistically, Nick will fight in December, but we did want him to fight in November, ideally, and that is still possible that he will fight on the CBS card, as of yesterday,” said Gracie. “They’re trying to get that through, and they’ve got to work with the executives at Showtime.”

Hieron, however, says they’ve missed that boat.

“Even if they came today and said that fight, it’s too close," he said. "I haven’t had time to prepare.”

So far, only two of the four fights scheduled for “Strikeforce on CBS” are set, with Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brett Rogers headlining and Jason “Mayhem” Miller vs. Jake Shields second-billed for the middleweight title.

Showtime retains final approval of Strikeforce cards as part of a broadcast deal struck in February. However, CBS Senior Executive Vice President Kelly Kahl said CBS was working with the companies to finalize the network event.

A third Showtime card, expected for early December in San Jose, Calif., is currently in the planning stages. Lightweight champion Josh Thomson told MMAWeekly.com he expects to rematch interim champion Gilbert Melendez at the December event. Both Hieron and Diaz have been approached about fighting on the California event, but confirmation remains elusive.

Hieron Monday afternoon told MMAWeekly.com he was offered a fight with Diaz at Dream 12, scheduled for Oct. 25, but declined due to the limited amount of preparation time.

Diaz last fought in June, defeating the heavy-handed Scott Smith in a 180-pound catchweight bout. The Stockton, Calif., native has been an outspoken advocate of medical marijuana, which he maintains a license for and uses to treat symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder. Gracie in August admitted Diaz would have likely failed the pre-fight drug test due to the drug's presence in his system.

Meanwhile, Showtime lashed out at Diaz’s no-show.

“If you’re going to be a main event fighter, or a fighter at this level, you’ve got to show up,” said Ken Hershman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Showtime Networks, in an August radio interview with Cofield. “If you can’t, and you’re not reliable, who can count on you, and where are you going with your career? You’ve got to make a commitment. Either you’re going to do it right, or not do it at all. You only get one or two shots at that, and then it’s done.

“I don’t see how I can promote and spend hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars promoting somebody who’s not going to show up. It’s just bad business.”

Gracie was uncertain whether Diaz’s limbo was a result of the pre-fight drug test incident.

“I think that the problem is Showtime executives not letting him fight on (the November) card,” said Gracie. “And not necessarily because they’re mad at him, I mean, who cares if they are, good.

“If they’re mad at him and they’re not letting him fight somewhere because of that, please release him from his contract and you’ll see him in the UFC a month later. I don’t know if that’s the case. I’m assuming it’s because they want him to headline the December card, they want some star power on the December card. If it’s because Showtime is a little irked at him, then here, dude, don’t get irked anymore, let him fight somewhere else.”

Diaz has two fights remaining on his Strikeforce deal and plans to box professionally in 2010. He is scheduled to compete in a jiu-jitsu tournament Oct. 10 in San Francisco against world champion grappler Lucas Leite.

Showtime executive Chris DeBlasio said that while his network had rightfully taken Diaz to task, they hadn’t spoken negatively about the fighter since.

“If anyone is making those comments about the upcoming card, they are welcome to call Ken,” said DeBlasio.

Hieron said he would continue to train at Xtreme Couture and wait for word of his next night, hopefully against Diaz.

“You’ve gotta focus on the positive, otherwise all that stuff can mess you up," he said. "I think me versus Diaz for the title is the fight that makes the most sense outside the UFC.”
 www.mmaweekly.com/absolutenm/templates/dailynews.asp
10/6/09 7:57 AM
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AlliancePA
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This will be a good fight. I hope it happens on the November card.
10/6/09 8:02 AM
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RKing85
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rumor has it he is on the Dream card at the end of the month. I certainly hope so.
10/6/09 8:58 AM
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Gullivers Travels
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Edited: 10/06/09 8:58 AM
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This is the problem when dealing with having the network deal. We saw how much control CBS wanted with Elite XC, and now they want to make decisions instead of letting Coker. Not a good idea when they have very limited experience in the business.
10/6/09 9:06 AM
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supersaiyan
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Monsters Ball - nick diaz back to the ufc?!! madmav
yes exactly if he on UFC why the heck is STrikeforce an issue?
10/6/09 3:42 PM
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orcus
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Devin187 - Nick Diaz is top 5 Welterweight in the world. Nuff Said!

 Nick Diaz has not fought at welterweight in years and when he did his last wins were over Tibau and Neer, two guys now in the middle of the pack at 155. He lost to every good welter he ever fought -- Sherk, Karo, Diego, Riggs. Fickett was probably his biggest win and Drew isn't exactly Mr Consistency.

Still an excellent fighter and one of my favorites to watch. I think he's better off at 185 where he doesn't have to cut as much weight and there are many fewer wrestlers.
10/6/09 3:53 PM
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BzGrappla
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Dude nick dismantled scott hands of stone or whatever smith.



why the fuck would he be duckin heiron. LMFAO... that an insult to nicky
10/6/09 11:34 PM
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Spaghetti Legs
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If Strikeforce is keeping Nick off of cards because they are mad, then f*** them.

Love him or hate him, Nick Diaz is one of Strikeforces major attractions, and they need to work around his schedule to accomodate him because of that.

And the former drug dealer Hieron knows his best claim to fame is to get an easy title shot against Nick. I hope Strikeforce releases Nick, so he can go fight in Dream then come clean up the lousy 185 division in the UFC.
10/7/09 12:14 AM
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JT42382
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 ^ "The Yakuza stiffed him of his check last time."

source?
10/7/09 2:37 AM
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rustyshakleford
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man,,,,i don't even know where to begin.....Hieron can't walk with Nick in Rumble Alley. It dont work that way
10/7/09 2:46 AM
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Roger AK47
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Strikeforce needs to get their shit in order. Big t.v. deal, and coming off minor league. Diaz didn't show up for a fucking drug test, what the fuck is Cesar smoking too.

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