Mixed Martial Arts

Diaz wants upgrade to come to Montreal for UFC 158

The Canadian Press
2/20/2013 6:32:40 PM
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Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre isn't losing much sleep over opponent Nick Diaz's travel arrangements to Montreal for their UFC 158 main event.

Cesar Gracie, Diaz's manager and head trainer, has taken to Twitter to try to get his fighter an upgrade for the trip from Stockton, Calif., from UFC president Dana White for the March 16 showdown at the Bell Centre.

"Please tweet (at)danawhite to upgrade (at)nickdiaz209 flight to Montreal from economy to business class! Not too much to ask for...," wrote Gracie.

"As long as he shows up, I don't care," St-Pierre told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. "By train, by horse. I don't care. I want him to come to Montreal. We need to finish the business."

It looks like Diaz may have to dig into his own pocket if he wants more leg room. Asked if his stand was that Diaz can afford to buy his own upgrade, White said "Exactly!" in a text to The Canadian Press.

Diaz's refusal to attend news conferences in Toronto and Las Vegas had him yanked from an earlier attempt to match the two fighters, at UFC 137 in October 2011. But he did show up for a news conference last month in Montreal to publicize the fight.

St-Pierre, meanwhile, said he was surprised at news that the UFC has cut Jon Fitch.

"I don't know what happened. Did he do something wrong? I have no idea," the champion said.

The two fought at UFC 87 in August 2008, with St-Pierre winning a convincing victory. Fitch refused to quit, however, and St-Pierre has called him one of his toughest opponents.

A tear ran down Fitch's cheek at the post-fight news conference that night in Minneapolis. Thanks to 25 brutal minutes in a cage with St-Pierre, it turned red as it trickled through a crescent of stitches below his left eye.

Fitch's recent run in the UFC has been checkered, however.

The 34-year-old Fitch (27-5-1 with one no contest) was beaten by Demian Maia last time out and is 1-2-1 in his last four fights.

According to multiple reports, the longtime welterweight contender was released along with Terry Etim, Ulysses Gomez, Josh Grispi, Che Mills, Jorge Santiago, Paul Sass and Motonobu Tezuka, all of whom lost their fights on a televised UFC card in London last weekend.

Also reportedly cut were Vladimir (The Janitor) Matyushenko, Jay Hieron, C.J. Keith, Wagner Prado, Mike Russow, Mike Stumpf, Simeon Thoresen and Jacob Volkmann. All but Volkmann had lost their last two UFC fights.

The UFC did not immediately confirm the cuts.

But the American Kickboxing Academy, Fitch's longtime gym, tweeted: "If Jon Fitch is released it is a very sad day and a day I thought would never come. I thought Jon Fitch was a certain UFC Hall of Famer."

It followed that up with "Truly unbelievable!"

Volkmann confirmed his release via Twitter.

"Was just cut from the UFC today. I want to thank the fans, and say i gave it my all. No regrets."

The UFC has added to its roster in recent weeks by picking up fighters from Strikeforce, which is now defunct, and is also adding female fighters in the 135-pound class.

Nick Diaz (Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


(Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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