Those who love to see Nick Diaz fight in the octagon won’t have to wait too much longer. In fact, it will likely come this summer.
All of that made possible thanks to a settlement of his penalty for a third positive test for marijuana leading up to his fight at UFC 183 back on Jan. 31, 2015. Following that failed test, Diaz was initially suspended for five years and fined $165,000.
Diaz has fought to get that suspension reduced and eliminated throughout the past year, with the Nevada Athletic Commission finally hearing him out on the eve of the one-year anniversary of his suspension.
The settlement reduced his suspension to 18 months (retroactive to start of the suspension) and he’ll owe just $100,000 in fines.
Initially, fans were shocked by the five-year ban and were very vocal about it. Fans even started a White House petition and garnered over the 100,000 signatures required for an official response from the President himself.
Normally this type of settlement doesn’t happen, but the NAC failed to file a written decision to Diaz’s legal team and that opened the door to settlement talks.
Much of the legal wrangling in the case centered around the timing of tests and labs used, with Diaz’s legal team pointing out that he passed two fight night drug tests and the lab used in one of the positive tests is not on the list of approved labs by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Nevada argued over the diluted nature of the failed tests and the fact that Diaz lied on his pre-fight form over the use of illegal drugs in the 30 days leading up to the fight — a condition of his right to fight from his previous two positive tests.
Diaz has a 26-9 professional record with stints in the UFC, Strikeforce and EliteXC throughout his career, and his style has made him popular with fans. However, he hasn’t been reliable to those promotions and it will be interesting to see where the 32-year old goes come his suspension being lifted August 1, 2016.