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Nick Diaz is going to War

In News, Sports on May 17, 2013 at 7:00 am
Splash image from nickdiazpromotions.com

Splash image from nickdiazpromotions.com

Retired Stockton mixed martial artist Nick Diaz may soon be getting back into the sport that made him famous. Sherdog.com reported on Tuesday that Diaz intends to start his own MMA promotion entitled War Mixed Martial Arts which would be based in Stockton. Sherdog was also able to confirm with the California State Athletic Commission that Diaz has applied for a temporary promoter’s license which, if approved, would allow Diaz to promote one event. Afterwards he would be allowed to apply for a full promoter’s license if the initial event goes well.

That event is rumored to take place at the Stockton Arena on June 22nd, but all of that is contingent on Diaz getting his temporary promoter’s license approved. It’s unclear who would appear on the rumored card. June 22nd is an ambitious start date for a promotion that hasn’t legally formed yet. Diaz would have a pool of talent to pull from at his local gym that he runs in the area and Northern California has never had a shortage of aspiring mixed martial artists. A six-week training camp would be on the low end of typical fight preparation, especially if Diaz plans on tapping regional rookies.

One person who you can probably count on not fighting would be Diaz himself. Diaz, who retired after losing a lopsided decision to UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre back in March, likely has at least one fight left on his UFC contract and would have to be released from his contract by UFC President Dana White in order to come out of retirement to fight for another promotion. His decision to start his own promotion makes that unlikely.

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Bring it Bakersfield

In Opinion, Sports on September 17, 2012 at 11:01 am

Recently, one of the Stockton Thunder’s rivals, the Bakersfield Condors, released their schedule of special promotions for the upcoming 2013 season. Along with typical events like  half price beer and dollar hot dog night and a mini-knee sock giveaway are two events aimed at Stockton, “Our City Isn’t Bankrupt Night” (which promised a “Rolls Royce” “giveaway” and “Millions of Dollars“) and a Stockton voodoo doll giveaway (self-explanatory).

Stockton Thunder President Dan Chapman posted a response on his Facebook page stating that the Thunder were “deeply saddened that a fellow member of our league would stoop to such a low level to try and gain publicity or sell tickets.” Record Sports Editor Bob Highfill also chimed in with a column entitled “Only thing bankrupt is owner’s idea of comedy” in which he claimed that bankruptcy was “a sensitive topic around here” and that it was “beyond what any reasonable person would consider good-natured promotional fun.” I guess that makes me an unreasonable person.

I understand why Chapman is unhappy. As a formal City Council member he not only has a dog in the on going pension battle, he shares some of the blame for Stockton being in the predicament it’s in. Which is why, as a person who enjoys busting someone’s balls more than most, I have to admire the Condors for their awesome, multi-layered burn.

Maybe it’s because Stockton’s bankruptcy really hasn’t had any effect on me so far, but I don’t consider it anywhere close to the top of Stockton’s sacred cows. It’s not like they’re doing murder rate night or something. If our economic collapse was because of some sort of tragic, freak accident I could understand some level of indignation. The housing market collapse is hardly that. Stockton is in the place it’s in because they kept betting on black (the housing market), took out a huge line of credit while they were winning, and didn’t think to play the numbers before the roulette wheel went the other way. When you screw up at that massive of a level you kind of just have to sit back and take your lumps. Nobody likes the guy who loses big at the casino and won’t let his friends razz him for it. You’re supposed to take a swig of your drink proportionate to the amount of money you lost and remind them of the time they lost their rent money playing Pai Gow.

The most frustrating part of this thing is that stuff like this is supposed to be the stuff that people can rally around. If there was ever anybody who need something to rally around and be proud of, it’s the people of Stockton. Sure, it’s just the Thunder, but it’s something. Stuff like this drives up attendance not only in Bakersfield but in Stockton too. Now when the Condors come to town the place will be filled with people frothing at the mouth to tell them Bakersfield sucks. It’s win-win. If you don’t want to bring everyone together through a bunch of Canadians and Russians beating the crap out of each other on ice then why did you bring us a hockey team in the first place? THIS IS WHAT SPORTS IS FOR.

Plus, we’re really going to let Bakersfield get under our skin? Bakersfield of all places? What’s next? Letting Fresno get to us? Have you ever heard of someone going to Bakersfield to do something other than take a dump at the gas station on the way to Disneyland? They’re a glorified rest stop with a mayor. Granted, we’re also well-known as being a town close to a lot of cooler places, but our cooler places are way more cooler(er). Bakersfield may be the gateway to Southern California but we have San Francisco, Napa, AND Sacramento (I guess). Reno, Tahoe, and Yosemite also deserve an honorable mention for being reasonably close. Down in SoCal is nothing but desert.

What I’m trying to get at, is that we should thank the Condors for playing the game and trying to ignite a good old fashioned North vs. South rivalry. Usually the antagonist isn’t the worst team in the conference (and 2nd worst in the league in 2012), but you have to sell tickets somehow. Stockton prefers an admirable playoff run. Looks like Bakersfield has to resort to offering pop singers contracts and trolling Raiders fans with football-themed ticket prices (Which, coincidentally, I also found hilarious).

Preview UFC 135: Nate Diaz vs Takanori Gomi

In Sports on September 23, 2011 at 8:00 am

Nate Diaz Triangle

This weekend Stockton’s Nate Diaz will take on Takanori Gomi in the undercard of this weekend’s UFC 135 PPV (which is main evented by a Lightheavyweight Championship fight between Jon “Bones” Jones (c) and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson). With Nick Diaz and his shenanigans making headlines lately this fight has gone overlooked so I’ll give it a quick preview here.

Diaz has had somewhat of a rocky couple years losing 5 of his previous 8 fights, most recently losing his last 2 fights by 3 round unanimous decisions to Rory MacDonald and Dong Hyun Kim. It is important to note that all of those losses (and all but one loss over the course of Diaz’s professional career) came via the judges scorecard. Nate may not be enjoying the success his brother has recently, he definitely does share his endurance. Like his brother, Nate is a skilled practitioner of Cesar Gracie’s brand of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which he’s put to use to win 9 of his career fights via submission. That should come in handy against Gomi who previously lost to the elder Diaz via submission (gogoplata) while fighting for the now defunct Pride Fighting Championship organization (a loss that was eventually wiped from record after Nick tested positive for marijuana in a post-fight drug test).

Gomi himself hasn’t had much luck in the cage since joining the UFC in 2010. He’s lost 2 of his 3 fights in the octagon, both submission losses to Clay Guida and Kenny Florian. Gomi is more of a wrestler and striker, winning a majority of his fights by either decision of knockout. Gomi holds an experience edge over Diaz, his first professional fight was in 1998, when his opponent was still in middle school.

Come Saturday, Nate Diaz will more than likely be back on the winning track. His endurance and technical skill will outmatch Gomi in what should be an entertaining bout and I predict a win via submission in the 2nd or 3rd round. After the loss Gomi will probably be cut by UFC President Dana White and Diaz will continue on his quest to reclimb the ladder of the lightweight division.

Nick Diaz’s disappearing act is the best thing he ever did

In Sports on September 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Last week Stockton’s Nick Diaz shook up the world of mixed-martial arts when he was pulled from the much anticipated main event of UFC 137 against Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre after missing multiple flights to press conferences to promote ticket sales. Diaz was replaced by Carlos Condit, who was to fight BJ Penn in the co-main event of the same card. It seemed that Diaz’s UFC comeback had stalled before it even started after UFC President Dana White spent a majority of the press conference criticizing Diaz’s professionalism and Diaz responded with a rambling, expletive-laden YouTube video in which he sarcastically apologized for not making it to the “beauty pagent”.

For roughly a day, journalists and bloggers speculated on Diaz’s state of mind and his future. Did he suffer from anxiety as many supposed because of his admitted prescription for medicinal marijuana? Would he return to boxing as he repeatedly claimed in his video? Could he even do so because of his recently signed exclusive 3-fight deal with the UFC? Dana White provided the answer to at least one of those questions when he reinserted the fighter he had expressed extreme reservations about just 24 hours earlier into the same fight card he had pulled him from. Instead of a reported $2 million payday against St. Pierre, Diaz will now fight former lightweight champion BJ Penn in the co-main event, replacing the fighter that replaced him in the main event. While Diaz will earn less money than he would in the title fight he’s been begging for for years, White’s willingness to even entertain the possibility of doing business with him has to be seen as a victory for the enigmatic fighter.
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