On Monday, World Jiu-Jitsu Expo president Renzo Gracie was a guest on Mauro Ranallo’s podcast "The MMA Show" aired on The Score. He took responsibility for the no-show by Nick Diaz at this past weekend’s World Jiu-Jitsu Expo, explained the situation, and also stated that he never wanted that fight in the first place.
On why the Nick Diaz vs. Braulio Estima superfight did not happen:
"It’s difficult to blame someone, but I have to be honest. If there’s someone to blame, it’s me. For one reason only. Even though it was my expo, I had one guy ("Junior") working on it and he was very good at organizing it and putting everything together. The only thing he’s not good at is to deal with fighters. You know, and from what I understood, I spoke to Cesar Gracie and from what I understood he ("Junior") called Cesar’s room at midnight at the day previous to the fight to tell him that Braulio Estima wouldn’t make the weight. That he would be 10 pounds over the weight. You have to understand Nick Diaz was already giving up too much to fight a guy of that caliber in a jiu-jitsu match. It is one thing if it was a MMA fight, but it was a different ball game. He has unbelievable jiu-jitsu, but it’s more guided toward MMA. It’s like he’s not, it’s like the same way I’m not more used to point scoring, advantages, and things like that. So for Nick to take the match, it shows the kind fighter he is, the kind of guts that he does have. I mean excuse my French, but he does have steel balls to jump in a fight like that. It then ended up turning out the way that it did, because the guy dealing with the fighters ("Junior") is an amateur and he doesn’t know what kind of emotions are involved, what’s the situation that is happening right now. So he goes and tells it the way that it is, instead of fixing the things, and did the weights the next day I think."
When asked if he originally wanted the Nick Diaz vs. Braulio Estima superfight:
"No, not at all. You can’t come after years of competing MMA. You have to understand I was in the airport when I read a tweet about that fight. I called him immediately and told Junior that I didn’t want that fight. I jumped in the plane and got a text from Braulio saying that he was going to fight him and I shot a text back saying I don’t want you fighting him. First, because we belong basically to the same camp. Second, because I think Braulio is in a different league when it comes down to this kind of fighting. He’s an ADCC heavyweight champion. You know? So to give weight difference, to give the level of competition that Braulio is doing now, it’s a huge advantage above Nick Diaz. Nick Diaz to me is a jiu-jitsu guy, I want to see him fighting another jiu-jitsu guy of his level and doing well to show his skills. I don’t want him to go in there and get squashed by a guy who’s doing better at Abu Dhabi right now."
– Renzo Gracie to Mauro Ranallo on The MMA Show