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Georges St-Pierre anticipates UFC return in February 2012by MMAjunkie.com Staff on Oct 20, 2011 at 10:00 am ETUFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre wants to recover the right way following an injury that scrapped his planned title defense against Carlos Condit.St-Pierre on Wednesday told Sportsnet.ca that he actually suffered two injuries – not one as originally reported – and doesn't anticipate returning before the end of January or early February."The recovery, I want to do it well," he said. "I don't want to do it too fast."The initial injury occurred Saturday while St-Pierre was training to fight Condit in the headliner of UFC 137, which takes place Oct. 29 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. The champ said he suffered a "moderate ligament strain" that may have damaged the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his knee. He believed he could still fight if he trained lightly, but on Tuesday, he injured his hamstring compensating for the original injury.St-Pierre trainer Firas Zahabi on Tuesday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the fighter sprawled on a sparring partner's takedown attempt and appeared afterward to be injured."After he cooled down, I knew he couldn't fight anymore," Zahabi said. "I've been around, I've seen injuries, and I know that that kind of injury is going to take at least two to five weeks of not standing on it for it to be really good (and) sturdy to fight. That's just me estimating with what I've seen in the past."In the wake of St-Pierre's withdrawal, Condit elected to wait for his title shot, and co-headliner Nick Diaz vs. B.J. Penn was moved to main-event status. Ironically, Diaz was originally scheduled as the headliner opposite St-Pierre before he was reassigned to fight Penn in the wake of his no-show of two press conferences in support of UFC 137."I wanted to fight Nick Diaz before this whole thing happened," St-Pierre said. "It's Nick Diaz who did not show up to both press conferences on the press tour. I talked to (UFC executive) Lorenzo Fertitta ... and he said to me, 'We cannot take the chance that you fight Nick Diaz and maybe he doesn't show up the day of the fight.' That's what he said to me and it makes perfect sense. I don't want to train the whole time and he doesn't show up."St-Pierre said he's eyeing rehab and a vacation after the demands of his most recent camp. He admitted the withdrawal was somewhat of a relief."I'm not going to lie – I cried yesterday," St-Pierre said. "I had a ton of pressure falling off my shoulders, because for the last few days I was in the mindset that I was nervous for the fight. I was excited for the fight but I was also nervous to know if I was going to be able to fight."Now all the pressure is off, I feel much better. I'm going to do some rehab, maybe take a vacation because I went through a lot. It's not only the fight, it's all the training camp, I went through a lot of stuff. I need to reset the whole thing again and I'll be ready for the next one."While the event has yet to be made official, the UFC has for the past several years put on a major event during Super Bowl weekend, which would appear to fit St-Pierre's timetable.
No-show road show almost continues, but Nick Diaz finally dishes on UFC 137 headlinerby Steven Marrocco on Oct 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm ETFor about 45 minutes or so, it looked like a classic Nick Diaz performance. That is, if you count Diaz's out-of-the-cage behavior as part of his fighting signature, and chances are, you do. Diaz was trending nationwide on Twitter not long after he apparently no-showed a media call in support of the pay-per-view event he's now headlining opposite B.J. Penn, UFC 137. Despite his new role as a headliner – a role that, by the way, was his original role before he no-showed a press conference promoting his title fight with welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre on the Oct. 29 card – Diaz said he had been training and had no clue his presence was required on the media call. He made it, though three-quarters of an hour late. "I didn't even know about the call," Diaz told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "What happened? I didn't even know there was a call. Nobody called me in the last week, couple days, and said there was a call. I trained last night, I went home, got something to eat, went to sleep, woke up, my phone was dead, and then my brother's telling me I'm supposed to be on a call. I don't know anything about it."When word of Diaz's no-show spread, manager Cesar Gracie sent Nate Diaz to his older brother's house to rouse him and get him on the call. "He did not know about the call," Gracie told MMAjunkie.com. "I was told about the call yesterday afternoon, literally yesterday afternoon, and I have not seen Nick since yesterday afternoon. He went on a training, crazy bike ride or whatever. He was out there and didn't answer his phone. He was out there training, and no one told him about the call."As with other infamous no-shows, others were forced to publicly explain Diaz's behavior. UFC president Dana White got wind of it shortly into the call and tweeted, "I'm hearing UFC dropped the ball on the Nick Diaz no show today!! SUCKS." UFC Director of Communications Dave Sholler said the promotion had been in constant contact with Gracie and declined to elaborate on the situation during today's call. Penn was unfazed by Diaz's absence and seemed to find charm in the situation. "Nick is Nick," he said. "He's going to do what he does, and for me, that's just what he does. I enjoy watching the stuff that Nick Diaz does. He doesn't change; he's always himself. That has nothing to do with me. He does always show up to the fight, so I don't think we have to worry about that stuff."And though the fight is set, questions remain about the headliner one day after White announced that champ St-Pierre had sustained a knee injury and would not be able to fight Carlos Condit. White tweeted that Diaz (25-7 MMA, 6-4 UFC) vs. Penn (16-7-2 MMA, 12-6-2 UFC) is a three-round fight, but Gracie later said that the bout's length depends on whether both sides can agree to a five-rounder, as the UFC has made the norm for headlining fights (that aren't short-notice affairs such as in the case of UFC 137). He said his camp had agreed and the ball rested in Penn's camp. Penn, however, said he hadn't even heard from the UFC about his promotion to top billing and demanded additional compensation, amazingly, from Gracie – to make it a five-round fight. "I'm more than willing to do a five-round fight," Penn said. "If Dana wants a five-round fight, he just needs to give me a call, and we can put it together right now. But if Cesar wants to make it a five-round fight, he can compensate me personally; he can put his money where his mouth is."Nevertheless, Penn were both in the dark about whether the idea for a five-round fight had taken official root.Diaz, meanwhile, expressed regret at missing an opportunity to fight St-Pierre and railed at the circumstances that led to his fight with Penn, a onetime training partner whom he called a better technical opponent. "I've got like a lawyer that's supposed to get paid $100,000 – a ridiculous amount of money," Diaz said. "I've been doing the same since I started – since I was 17. I live down the street from my parents, who I used to live in the same house with. Now I live with my brother, and I've got all these business people around me trying to make deals. I don't know anything about that. "All I know is that somebody's getting paid over a hundred grand just to tell me what I'm supposed to do and what I'm not supposed to do. And I'm like, for that much money, I think I could have had somebody standing around telling me, 'Hey, you can't miss this press conference. That kind of voids the whole contract, and then you're out, and you get [expletive]. You're fighting [expletive]. You make no money. So you have to be at this thing.' "If I had read that [expletive] over myself, I'd have been a little more cautious. I probably would have showed up to that press conference, but that's not the case. I'm in the gym training hard. I think that's what's important. I think we made a deal; a deal's a deal. I don't know anything about going back on that. That never came to mind. But as far as I'm concerned, people working for me should have been there to tell me what's what, and I didn't have that like everybody else has."The current deal has Diaz fighting Penn on Oct. 29 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. That he will show to. In the meantime, his absence from the public eye continues to captivate as much, and perhaps more, than his presence inside the cage.