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Cesar Gracie says Nick Diaz’s lack of communication was inexcusable

Renowned coach Cesar Gracie is a lot of things for polarizing welterweight Nick Diaz – a trainer, a mentor, a father-figure, and now apparently a spokesperson. Gracie, who has stood up for Diaz publicly before, finally broke the silence surrounding the 28-year old’s decision to not show up for a scheduled grappling match this past weekend.

While Gracie expressed disappointment in a written statement published late last night he also made it clear he understood where his star pupil was coming from given the lack of professionalism he received from the organization hosting the bout.

According to Gracie, the issues influencing Diaz’s decision related to opponent Braulio Estima being presented as someone with no interest in a MMA career as well as the Brazilian’s weight-related demands. Originally Diaz’s camp had been told Estima was purely focused on grappling as a means of quelling their concerns about a BJJ-based win being used as a means of self-promotion in the MMA field. When they learned he had started training for an eventual MMA debut a red flag went up. Estima also failed to make an agreed-upon weight the night before the match-up, adding to Diaz’s displeasure with how things were being handled.

However, that doesn’t mean Gracie let Diaz off the hook for his role in the matter.

“Nick is not without fault by any means. His lack of communication with his team and coach was inexcusable. This will be addressed privately,” wrote Gracie.

Gracie also added Diaz donated a sum equal to that of his purse from the event to St. Jude’s Hospital as he’d planned to do with his winnings.

The full body of Gracie’s statement can be found below:

My decision to write an account of what happened this weekend is not to answer to the detractors of myself or my team, as no explanation is owed them. It is instead based on my acknowledgement and respect to our fans and supporters. I never thought I would be answering for something that happened at a grappling tournament, however with the worldwide popularity of the sport and my team increasing, I understand that our supporters need answers.

Below is a compilation of events in chronological order. I included the behind the scenes problems we had to let you, our supporters, know how things deteriorated.


In the month of February I was contacted by a Brazilian named Junior asking me if I wanted to participate in an Expo\Jiu-jitsu tournament. The goal was to put one of our team’s stars in the event to attract sponsors and ensure it was successful. The event was not that far away and they desperately needed exposure. Junior stated that he was working with my uncle Rilion and my cousin Renzo on this project and they were in fact partners. Rilion and Renzo are 2 people that I greatly admire and respect and I was more than happy to partner up with them. I discussed the idea with Nick Diaz and he readily agreed to enter in the black belt gi division. He did not seek any reimbursement. Junior thought it better for Nick to do a super fight as he thought this would be more of a spectacle and bring in more attention.Nick was not as enthusiastic but agreed on the condition that whoever was picked to go against him was not a MMA fighter. He knew even a mediocre MMA fighter would try to use a match and/or victory over him to further their career in MMA. Nick believes a reputation as a fighter should only be earned in a ring or cage.

I relayed this to Junior and he agreed to arrange for a strict jiu-jitsu competitor.

In March I received the disturbing news from Rilion that Junior had broken his agreement with him. Rilion stated to me that Junior was registering all World Jiu-jitsu Expo names under his name alone and was no longer taking his phone calls. When contacted by me, Junior stated that he would no longer honor his financial obligations to Rilion because “Rilion was doing nothing and treats me like one of his clerks”.

He then went on a tirade about Rilion which I interrupted and reminded him that Rilion was my family member and I would not listen to someone speaking negatively about him.

This rift left me in a dilemma. My instinct was to sever ties immediately. Rilion was my original jiu-jitsu instructor and his reputation as an honest person was impeccable. On the other hand we had already committed Diaz and Caio Terra. Our removal would destroy an event Renzo provided all of the funding for.

I consulted with Rilion who advised me to move forward with the event. He was the one that had brought Renzo into this project and convinced Renzo to fund it. He also still believed in the idea of an American tournament that paid the best BJJ guys on the planet to showcase their skills. We agreed to move forward without him since at this stage Junior had entrenched himself and his removal was impossible. Lastly Rilion warned me that Junior was not to be trusted and would undoubtedly try to cheat me and Renzo.
In early April I got the call from Junior asking what I thought of a Braulio Estima vs Nick Diaz matchup. I had heard of Braulio and knew he was a formidable jiu-jitsu practitioner. I was under the impression that Braulio competed in the close to 200lbs weight category.

When I asked Junior he assured me that Braulio could weigh in as little as 175 lbs right before the match.

I presented his information to Nick who accepted the matchup and seemed happy to go against the top BJJ player in the world at that weight. Nick started training for the match and I brought up several BJJ black belts to compliment his training.
Looking through some of Estima’s YouTube videos, it was soon discovered that he had in fact been planning on entering upon a career in MMA. We wondered if the match with Diaz was a way to create a buzz around him and get him signed with a prominent organization.

I called Junior who assured me Estima would not be fighting in MMA and that he had spoken with him and been assured he had given up on the idea of ever fighting. Junior reiterated, “Cesar I spoke with Braulio, the guy is in his 30?s, he has a family and doesn’t want to live that type of life at this stage in his life…etc”

I repeated this info to Nick. A week or so later it was all over the Internet that Braulio had joined the “Blackzillians” and was training for a MMA fight. We had been lied to. Furthermore it was evident that Nick’s sole condition that he not go against a wanna be MMA guy was violated and this was in fact an attempt by Braulio to ignite an MMA career.Nick was to have been accurately portrayed as a fighter returning to his BJJ roots. He had even agreed to give his entire purse to charity; St Jude’s Children’s Hospital for kids with cancer. If you know the story of Ralph Gracie’s son you would understand why this charity was chosen. Nick’s name having been added to this event had saved it but now it was clear he was to be the patsy, not respected but used.

Despite all of this Nick was still going to compete. He brought up Kron Gracie and prepared himself. Around this time I was informed by Junior that Braulio wanted to weigh in the day before and not right before the match as is the custom in IBJJ competitions and Abu Dhabi. At the time Nick was about 186lbs so I consented to both guys weighing in at 180lbs the night before.

Nick boarded a plane on Friday for Long Beach having cut 6 pounds for the weigh in that night. On his way there I got a call from Junior telling me Braulio would not be making weight! ”Cesar Braulio is complaining about the weight cut. Can we have him weigh in tomorrow? He can’t make the weight tonight how about 185 in the morning?”
Nick arrives in Long Beach to the news that there will be no weigh ins that night. As a professional with over 30 fights this was the final straw. The disrespect and total lack of professionalism given him convinced him he was at a circus not a professional event.
At 3:20 in the morning I received a text from Junior that Braulio would in fact make the 180lbs weight class at 10:00AM. With no other option available I said fine I’ll check with Nick in the morning. At 10:00AM Braulio did weigh in at 180lbs but by that time Nick had already left.


As a Brazilian I love Brazil but not all things Brazilian. In the last decade I have witnessed Brazilian cronies running the IBJJF and making it impossible for Americans to get a fair shake when competing against their Brazilian countrymen. These cronies have instituted rules to where if you miss weight by even half a pound you are disqualified and not refunded your entry fee. They gladly keep your money and treat you like crap in your country because they can. One of these cronies (Junior) decided to bend all the rules for Braulio Estima and treat Nick Diaz like crap. Sorry that didn’t work out here.

As for Braulio I still respect him as a great BJJ artist. As far as calling Nick out for a MMA fight, he knows that is impossible because Nick is signed with the UFC and in MMA you have to make weight when they want you to. Not when you want to. If Braulio ever finds success in MMA then he can mention Nick’s name for a fight. Right now he should respect the man.

Nick is not without fault by any means. His lack of communication with his team and coach was inexcusable. This will be addressed privately.

Renzo and I have spoken and we are committed to continuing with this otherwise awesome event….without the services of Junior.

It should be noted that Nick paid to St Jude’s Children’s Hospitable the sum of what would have been his entire purse.

Thank you,
You have my apologies and my respect
Cesar Gracie


  • Rece Rock says:

    As the world turns…

    But seriously right or wrong how mych longer are ppl going to continue to care about any of these shananigans…. it’s going to wear off on ppl and soon they won’t care about Nick or Cesear or there many adventures…

    At some point I hope Nick does comes back after his suspension and gets smothered and controled by GSP, which leads to Nick getting super emotional and frustrated and retires all over again. The End.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I will say that if the ending of his letter is true, then that’s good of Diaz, to go ahead and pay St. Jude’s his purse even though he no showed.

  • THEGUNNER says:

    He should ve stuck to strikeforce. Lesser comptition is better for him he obviously dont like to lose.

  • Angry Mike says:

    I’m no fan of Diaz, but I don’t blame him for this. It appears that he agreed to the BJJ match as a favor to Cesar. Since it was Cesar’s family and associates who screwed up, Cesar should have made the decision for Nick and cancelled. Leaving Nick to take the heat and pay out of Nick’s pocket after imposing on their friendship is a little gutless.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I get the feeling he would of Angry Mike, if Nick would of told him/the team that he didn’t want to go through with it because of everything, but instead he was just kinda gone.

  • If this is the case then I dont blame NIck for not competing. Its not as if he was the only one who was out of line here. The fact that he didnt communicate this to his team is another story and is still inexcusable. The fact that he donated his promised donation to st jude’s is commendable.

    With all this being said this doesnt change my views on Nick Diaz the fighter former WEC and Strikeforce champion, UFC and Pride competetitor, trash talker extraordinaire and one of the most exciting fighters on the planet. This all sucks, and it sounds like a fucked up situation all the way around that winds up making only Nick look bad because Nick is the only one who has anything to lose from this. As for his eloquence(or lack thereof) and ghetto attitude, Who cares? not every fighter can be Jon Fitch, Frank Mir, GSP or Kenny Florian. Sure it adds spice to the hype of a fight, but isnt what matters the events that unfold once the bell rings?
    Even if Nick is 100 percent in the wrong(and by my opinion he’s not) I still am more than happy to shell out my money to watch him fight until he does this to a promotion that lives up to their contractual obligations no matter how ridiculous they become(If Braulio would’ve beaten Nick, and used it to launch his MMA career, so what? That’s just promo for a future fight) as that’s why contracts are written ahead of time to address everyone’s stupid nuances that they need catered to them for their services rendered.
    As a former music promoter you’d all be surprised what kind of stupid things low tier bands want that you have to adhear to in order to get them to play. Im sure this applies to fighters and their camps to an even bigger degree thanks to them having legal representation. The way I see this is the promoters werent living up to their end of the bargain until the last minute and Nick, as a professional used to dealing with professionals, was just fed up with the lack of professionalism, and couldnt take it anymore. He still should’ve addressed things publicly and professionally, but its not a surprise that he didnt.

  • JBAR says:

    This is Cesar’s version of the story and I am sure the promoter has a totally different version. The truth probably lies somewhere in between. Regardless, if Nick did in fact make the donation to St. Judes out of his pocket I have a little more respect for him now. I was almost to the point with him that I was starting to feel like he may never make it back to the top tier of fighters because of his personal demons but this would give one a glimmer of hope. That said he still has a long way to go. I love to watch him as a fighter, but I would prefer to see him get his life in order even if that meant never fighting again than to continue to watch this never ending saga of his life in shambles. And to be clear I am not really a big Diaz fan but I do enjoy watching him fight and the passion he brings to the cage.

  • Rece Rock says:

    You guys really don’t see the pattern here do you- Nick screws up, Cesar releases statement, Diaz fans rejoice in redemption… for me this is cesars side of the story… and we all know there’s 2 sides to every story… it’s easy to smoothe things over when your fans are sympathizers, enablers and apologist… yes feel bad for the man with social anxieties/ disorders whom treats them with marajuana instead of real medication or treatment… oh please I’m so over this guy, what a hump. And I watched the BJJ expo for him and I’m not even a fan of his but I still tuned in as a part of the mma fan community but shame on me for giving a shit about a guy whom retired and is serving a suspension…. to think of all the fans that showed up online in support of the event due to Diaz main eventing and he couldn’t return the gesture by competing then handling his business behind the scenes.

  • JBAR says:

    Like I said Rece, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I tend to watch fighters for what they are in the cage and do not really concern myself with what they are outside of it mainly because I do not know them. The media and public forums can be pretty damned skewed so I try not to pass judgement on someone I do not know based on that. The problem with Diaz is that his personal crap has a way of bleeding over into his competitive life and this is where the root of my dislike for him comes from.

  • Rece Rock says:

    “I tend to watch fighters for what they are in the cage and do not really concern myself with what they are outside of it mainly because I do not know them.”- JBAR

    I partly agree with that sentiment and usually that is how you can approach it from a fans perspective BUT when the same fighter has reoccuring issues it becomes part of there persona and I for one have trouble over looking it.

    And outside of the Diaz example you got other fighters getting popped for DUI’s, Domestic violence, making light of social issues and insensitive towards some groups of the population… it’s kinda hard to not let some fighters actions reflect upon your opinion of them… especially when some are very serious or damaging actions.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    So Nick & his camp weren’t thrilled with the idea of Nick losing to a BJJ guy who would turn around and use it as a springboard for an attempted MMA career. Eh, I can see where they’re coming from but that’s a bit of a silly, subjective thing. But if they felt that strongly about it and made a descision not to compete, I’d at least have to respect if even if not fully agreeing.

    But as Cesar explained, it certainly wasn’t enough of an issue to prevent Nick from commiting to the match. Right on.

    And after hearing thru the grapevine that Braulio had joined an MMA camp, and watching some youtube videos, it sounds like they had a clear impression that Braulio was in fact headed to MMA in the near future. But in Cesar’s words, “Despite all of this Nick was still going to compete. He brought up Kron Gracie and prepared himself.”

    Again, right on. The competition shoudl outweigh the other stuff.

    But fast forward a ways and Nick is again a no-show and we get to hear about this as part of the explanation/exuse for why Nick once again bailed on a commitment. Weak sauce.

    And then the weight thing… we can cut thru the bullshit and the fact of the matter is Braulio did make the agreed-upon weight of 180lbs the day of the match, which is the norm for BJJ competitions. Just another after-the-fact attempt at damage control.

    Look, if there was some larger issue that Nick had felt so strongly about he didn’t want to do the match, then fine. Handle it like a professional by communicating that accordingly… communicate in advance, to the event organizers, to the fans & least of all your fucking coaches.

    But that’s not how things work in Nick’s world. He’s simply not a professional. He is incapable of consistently keeping his commitments. So Cesar is left playing this silly PR game, forced to acknowledge when Nick screws up but also walking on eggshells to spin things as positive as possible for his guys. Which is completley understandable, but with each new incident this just becomes more & more lame.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    BTW, I think the whole 209 thing and overall Diaz vibe comes across as incredibly juvenile. But hey, that’s their thing. I can tell it’s genuine and not some front…so silly as it may seem at times, I respect that they’re real dudes whether on camera, in the cage, etc.

    My problem with Nick is that he’s not capable of matching the professionalism of his little brother. Nate manages to keep it real while still holding up his end of the bargain as a professional athlete. It’s a shame Nick, for whatever reason, hasn’t been able to do the same.

  • MCM says:

    “… and Nick, as a professional used to dealing with professionals, was just fed up with the lack of professionalism, and couldn’t take it anymore. ”

    You, my friend, are bonkers.

    I once heard of this professional fighter that was so mad at another fighter that beat him, he tried to fight him at the hospital afterwords.
    Then there was this fighter that was given the rules he had to follow to compete in a professional MMA match that included what could and couldn’t be in his system (could – water, couldn’t – robitusson) and he should up with elevated levels of illegal substances in his system anyway (twice) and still bitched and moaned that it wasn’t his fault he got penalized for it (both times).
    Then there was this other professional that was contracted to fight for a vacant title in a professional organization but felt that he was too professional to get a drug test so that he could get a professional license and bailed causing both the professional org and other professional fighter to lose out on a paycheck.
    And then there was this professional fighter that was cornering another professional on network TV and when a different professional came into the ring after the fight, this first fighter attacked (unprovoked) the guy and caused a riot in the cage that was anything but professional.
    And this one professional was given the biggest fight of his professional career, all he had to do was act like a professional and live up to his contracted appearances, but instead decided that he didn’t have to show up for one of them. So the professional org decided to do another appearance and instead of showing up to that one he jumped out the window in the back of his house to avoid showing up and fulfilling his professional contract.

    oh wait, that’s all the same professional fighter. :0

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Braulio Estima’s response to Gracie’s statement is equally convincing. Will have it up a bit later (or tomorrow morning considering tonight’s event). Either way, like someone said, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

  • JBAR says:

    Rece, Like I said I TRY not to pass judgement based on what I hear but in some cases it just can’t be helped, like being convicted of domestic violence that you referred to. DUI, not so much, I have known a lot of good people who have that strike against them. Comments in bad taste I can usually overlook unless they are totally against my beliefs and are so frequent that it is obvious they are not being said in fun or anger. I would have been stoned to death long ago if people took everything I have said in fun or anger as the gospel.

  • jeref says:

    IMO, Nick’s issue is limelight, and I don’t blame him. When did MMA (UFC especially) turn into professional wrestling? Pre-fight interviews, post-fight interviews, behind the scenes television shows, press conferences, etc. etc. etc. The man trains harder than 99.999% of fighters, but you want to tag him as “unprofessional”???? He’s a professional FIGHTER people! Train. Fight. Train. Fight. Maybe its just because I actually have a life, but I really don’t give a fuck what a fighter does outside of the ring/cage! Entertain me for 15/25 minutes 2-3 times per year, and as far as I’m concerned, a fighter did his job.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    “as far as I’m concerned, a fighter did his job.”

    Um..he no showed a BJJ no?

  • Richard Stabone says:

    IMO, Nick’s issue is limelight, and I don’t blame him. When did MMA (UFC especially) turn into professional wrestling?

    The UFC hasn’t turned into professional wrestling; it’s (in the process of) turning itself into a mainstream professional sport. And how do you think that happens? How do you think the UFC generates the kind of $$ to be able to pay a fighter like Nick hundreds of thousands of dollars?

    But let’s pretend it’s as simple as asking a professional athlete to simply show up for the scheduled fight, entertain for 15 minutes, and collect the fat paycheck. Nick obviously hasn’t been able to hold up the end of the bargain because he can’t meet the obligations of the athletic commission. The guy can’t stop smoking fucking weed for a few weeks at a time to fight and collect a paycheck. That’s how professional he is.

  • Rece Rock says:

    When Brendhan posts the rebuttal it will answer some more questions… After reading it I gotta say it seems Diaz is a bit needy so I doubt the “limelight” is whats changing mma it’s the fighters becoming premadonnas and putting there asses up on pedestals

  • jeref says:

    Sorry. I didn’t do a very good job at directing my message. It was more of a reply to MCM’s 101 reasons why Nick’s an ass than to the article. I’m not defending Nick’s actions in his most recent mistep until I see the rebuttal.

    Getting asses in seats is how the UFC makes the money to pay the fighters … do you think Nick puts more or less asses in seats by being who he is? hmmm

    In my twisted sense of reality, the UFC would do better by letting the fighters who want to be poster boys be the poster boys, and let the camera shy stay in hiding. It’s a horrible thing if MMA turning into a mainstream sport requires fighters to be equally good at kissing up to the press as they are at beating people into submission.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Like I mentioned, Nate manages to keep it real without the flaky and unprofessional act his brother likes to pull. Nothing too complicated here.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    And back to the promotional stuff, the UFC makes money by expanding its viewership… which in turn means higher PPV sales & increased sponsorship dollars.

    Of course the hardcore fans will tune in regardless, but we’re talking about a relatively new kid on the block trying to carve a spot in the professional sports landscape trying to draw in new fans. So when title fights and/or headlining fights are involved, to think there won’t or shouldn’t be other promotional obligations is completely out of touch with reality. Fortunately, every fighter on the planet I’m aware of not named Nick Diaz understands this.

  • MCM says:

    well said Richard.

    @jeref. I think you put the emphasis on the wrong word. It’s not “professional FIGHTER”, it’s “PROFESSIONAL fighter”. Nick can train harder than %100 of the people on the planet and go beat up dudes outside of 711 if he just wants to be a FIGHTER. But he doesn’t, he chose a MMA as a Profession, that means he has to act like a Professional. As Richard pointed out, he doesn’t need to look any farther than his own little brother for an example. As for the pre and post fight interviews, press conferences, and behind the scenes videos. Imagine Nick Diaz WITHOUT the mean mugging, middle fingers, insults and general disrespect. How many butts do you think he’d put in seats without all that?

  • MCM- The mayhem and other examples are all true, however they are in the past, multiple years past to be precise….people grow up….sadly its not looking like Nick is doing much of it. As for the illegal substances, alot of fighters Im sure are on anxiety medication which is probably barred from being in your bloodstream unless your perscription shows otherwise. Had the Condit fight been in Ca, CSAC probably wouldnt have even mentioned marijuana as Nick legally smokes it under prop 215 and has a scrip for it. Besides its by no means a performance enhancing drug, if anything its a performance inhibiting drug.
    As for not showing up to the press conference, Dana forgave him and lined his pockets with dollars because of it, while Penn took an asswhooping the likes of only which GSP has ever given him.
    I guess I used Nick being a professional in the context that he’s not used to dealing with orgs who switch rules and circumstances the night before. He was informed up until it was preweighin time that his opponent wanted to work at a different weight or wasnt going to make weight. Maybe its fair to say that Nick got a taste of his own medicine in a way, but even still he’s the only one who had anything to lose out of this. Braulio is not going to be looked down upon for lying/having things changed in order to suit his weight cut needs.
    Either way the rest of my comment still stands, until he no shows to a match that MATTERS or doesnt live up to his agreement to make the donation(which he did) then I will continue to watch his fights intently, because he is one of the most exciting fighters on the planet, love him or hate him.

    And Rich….where are you from? Do you have no pride in your hometown team?
    Here in the 209…(or as I like to refer to it the part of california nobody talks about, the former agricultural hub that used to produce the majority of the worlds food) we dont have any professional sports teams, we dont have any big name atheletes except the Diaz bros and now Michael McDonald. But we also have a bunch of small town rivalries so you wont here us kids from Los Banos yelling out “modesto” or “stockton” instead you’ll hear us yell out 209, because we feel as we are one community in the way of our sports heroes, celebrities etc.

  • MCM says:

    “I guess I used Nick being a professional in the context that he’s not used to dealing with orgs who switch rules and circumstances the night before. He was informed up until it was preweighin time that his opponent wanted to work at a different weight or wasnt going to make weight. ” – superdave

    But this in only according to Cesar Gracie. According to everyone else that was involved with the match or BJJ competitions in general, this statement is simply not true. I don’t understand how the “shady promoter” is at fault when the rest of the event went off with out a hitch and all the other participants seemed to have nothing negative to say. The only problem with the entire event was that the main attraction refused to show, and yet somehow it’s not his fault?

    And my list was not,as jeref thinks, to show that Nick Diaz is an ass, but to show that he has in the passed and continues (his last three three scheduled fights) to act unprofessionally.
    He bailed on his commitments to the GSP fight and had to face BJ instead.
    He tested positive for a banned substance in the Condit fight. Whether he had a prescription in another state or not is immaterial. He can’t have it in his system, that’s why I used robitusson as an example. Not because it’s a PED but because it is unsafe for fighters to compete while it’s in their system.
    He bailed on a scheduled fight that no one aside from him, his manager/handler, and hangers-on had any problems with.

    I fully understand, you and other fans that love watching the guy fight and are fans of his actions in the cage. I get that whole heartedly. What I don’t get is that fact that people continually justify his antics outside the cage as if it is acceptable behavior.
    He cost people money when he f-up the GSP/Diaz fight, people bought that card for that fight. He cost people money when did no showed the BJJ tourney. People made the trip, bought the tickets and bought the stream because he was on it. Gracie can say it’s an “internal matter” but it affects the public.
    I know people are going to say it’s unfair to hold him responsible for people spending money to see him preform, he’s just a fighter, but that’s BS. As a professional, he needs to realize that competing at the top of the game is more than about what happens inside the Octagon.


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