MANILA, Philippines – A gentler version of Nick Diaz surprised the MMA media when he showed up at the press conference for his welterweight title shot against UFC champion Georges St-Pierre.
The usually media-shy Diaz apologized to reporters for skipping an earlier press conference intended for his supposed title fight against St-Pierre last year.
"I didn't make it to the last press conference," he said in MMA Fighting. "It wasn’t very professional on my part.”
The snub cost him the challenger shot, which was later won by Carlos Condit.
Diaz said he was so intent on his part to fight that he forgot his duty to promote the fight itself.
“I just was ready to fight. I was ready to go to the fight and fight. I thought that was the important part but I had to learn my lesson. So, there's a lesson learned from this, and now I'm ready to fight," he said.
Diaz will be challenging St-Pierre for the welterweight title in UFC 158 which will be held in March.
Diaz also dropped his trash-talking ways and has nothing but good words for his foe.
"I like my opponent," he said. "That’s why I want to fight him. I don't mean to say it like that, but he’s the No. 1 guy to beat. That's what you want. I’ve been wanting his spot. He’s got the spot. He’s the guy to beat."
For his part, St-Pierre admitted that there’s a heated rivalry between them especially after Diaz made the snub.
He said he’s just happy that it’ll reach its final conclusion.
"I never duck nobody. I never run away from nobody. Now is his chance. He deserves it. I'm willing to give it to him and I'm happy to give it to him," said St-Pierre.