If there’s any lack of cordiality in the MMA world, that’s a tough thing to say. There is certainly no love lost between the stars of UFC 141, though.
This Wednesday at the official pre-event press conference in Las Vegas, Nate Diaz couldn’t contain himself and flicked his opponent—one of the greatest lightweight revelations of the moment—, Donald Cerrone’s cowboy hat.
Diaz having sent the hat flying and going one further with a shove, Dana White had to swiftly intervene.
“Today I behaved like a professional, but Friday I’ll make him pay,” asserted Cerrone, who was just as indignant as White.
“I’m not happy that Nate slapped Cerrone’s hat off today. I don’t like the guys touching each other [before the fight]. That’s why I’m standing there. I’m not there to mug up into the camera. I’m there to make sure that *%@& doesn’t happen. I didn’t do my job today [yesterday], apparently. Everybody knows how nasty the Diaz brothers are, but Donald Cerrone’s not the nicest guy in the world either, you know what I mean?” said White.
The two fighters have been at odds ever since UFC 137, when Nate, brother to equally-bellicose Nick Diaz, refused to shake hands with his opponent, slapping his hand away when Cerrone went to greet him. The two will again be face to face today, at the official weigh-ins.
Manny Gamburyan and Diego Nunes have exchanged their own share of “niceties,” in the lead-up to their showdown in the evening’s opening fight.
According to Gamburyan, his falling out with Diego began back in 2010, when the Armenian took on Nunes’s teammate at Nova União José Aldo at WEC 51.
“There was this poster of the event, with me and José Aldo on it. All the fighters autographed the poster, and that idiot signed right on my face, like this [delineating with his hand the area over his nose and forehead]. That got me mad; he disrespected me for nothing. I never disrespected José Aldo, and I’ve never said anything about him. I asked who it was who did it and they said, ‘Diego Nunes.’ I thought, ‘OK, it doesn’t matter what happens against Aldo; I’m going to beat that guy up eventually,” said Manny.
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
December 30, 2011
Brock Lesnar vs Alistar Overeem
Nate Diaz vs Donald Cerrone
Jon Fitch vs Johny Hendricks
Vladimir Matyushenko vs Alexander Gustafsson
Nam Phan vs Jim Hettes
Under card (US TV)
Ross Pearson vs Junior Assunção
Anthony Njokuani vs Danny Castillo
Under card (Facebook broadcast)
Jacob Volkmann vs Efrain Escudero
Dong Hyun Kim vs Sean Pierson
Matt Riddle vs Luis Ramos
Manny Gamburyan vs Diego Nunes