LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 31: Nick Diaz leaves the arena after losing to Anderson Silva in a middleweight bout during UFC 183 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 31, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Silva won by unanimous decision. (Photo : Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
Nick Diaz and the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) were able to come up with a settlement, and now the UFC welterweight fighter can spring back to action as early as August.
Originally, Diaz was meted a five-year suspension and was fined $165,000. Such punishment drew heavy criticism as it practically rendered any possible return by the American mixed martial artist futile. However, after months of work, it seems that both sides finally came up with a win-win solution.
According to ESPN, NSAC unanimously approved the settlement with Diaz where he will have to pay a $100,000 fine aside from serving only an 18-month suspension. That 18-month suspension is retroactive, meaning Diaz could be back in UFC action as early as August this year.
Diaz was meted the five-year suspension back in September after he was found positive for marijuana metabolites following a loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 183 in January 2015. It was his third marijuana violation in the state.
Diaz underwent drug testing three times. Two of the tests were done by WADA-accredited labs and came out negative but the other test carried out by a non-accredited lab turned in positive.
The controversy stemmed from that, but all seems to be academic at this point. The important thing is the Diaz can get his UFC life back, and hopefully, he can rebound from the temporary setback.
When Diaz was facing an imminent five-year ban from the sport, many decried the ruling and felt that the NSAC may have gone overboard. Fans, fellow fighters and celebrities were not in favour of the ban and took part in an online petition sent to the White House that earned 100,000 signatures.
That online petition was however overturned.
A curious thing about the whole issue is that NSAC never really gave a written decision to Diaz and his legal team. Such was a good sign since it allowed both sides to endure in settlement talks.
Regardless, the attention has now shifted to what Diaz will do once the suspension is up.
According to his legal team, Diaz will not be making comment on the development and has yet to set up his next fight.
“With respect to the fact that Nick will be able to fight again beginning Aug. 1, I’m pleased with the outcome of the settlement,” says Hunter Campbell, managing partner at Campbell and Williams via MMA Junkie.
MMA Junkie was also able to secure a copy of the settlement signed Monday. For those who are interested, the settlement can be viewed here.