His opponent Anderson Silva may be appearing before the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) tomorrow (Thurs., August 13, 2015), but Nick Diaz’ hearing before the commission has been delayed yet again.
Following his lawyer Lucas Middlebrook filed a request for a continuance due to a scheduling conflict that was granted by NAC chairman Francisco Aguilar, the popular slugger would likely have his case heard in September. No date was confirmed according to a report from MMAFighting.com, but Middlebrook did state he believed the date would be September 14.
Diaz famously tested positive for marijuana metabolites, his third straight failed test in Nevada. He also tested positive in 2007 and 2012. While he was suspended and fined for both previous infractions, he is now fighting the charges given some apparent inconsistencies in the tests.
He was tested three times, with two being sent to an SMTRL lab while the other was sent to Quest Diagnostics in Las Vegas. Two came back negative for marijuana metabolites and one was positive for a THC level of 300 ng/ml, twice the allowed limit in the state. Each lab had different ways to test Diaz’ hydration according to Middlebrook, which may have lead to the discrepancy in results.
There was discussion of a settlement between Middlebrook and Nevada deputy attorney general Christopher Eccles, but the commission ultimately decided to hear its case, which is will do next month.
In other NAC news, the commission has decided to keep controversial referee Steve Mazzagatti after he came under extreme fire for his handling of the hotly debated World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 22 main event between Rousimar Palhares and Jake Shields.
Palhares won the bout by third round submission, but not before repeatedly gouging Shields’ eyes in the second; leading to serious swelling and prompting many to believe that Mazzagatti should have deducted a point or even disqualified “Toquinho.”
The controversial former champion then cranked a Kimura submission long after Shields tapped out in the following round, forcing WSOF president Ray Sefo to strip him of the title and suspend him indefinitely. The NAC suspended him temporarily, and did the same to Shields after he punched Palhares after the belt, until they appear to have their cases heard at the commission’s hearing tomorrow.
As for Mazzagatti, NAC executive director Bob Bennett told MMAFighting.com via email that they have discussed the problem with the embattled referee, who has been frequently criticized by Dana White and slowly removed from working UFC cards in Nevada:
“I have discussed the challenges referee Mazzagatti encountered, and we will continue to move forward.”
Mazzagatti has kept his job once again, yet it could be only a matter of time before he makes a questionable judgment error that puts a fighters’ safety at risk. Would the NAC have done better to have moved on from his controversy and baggage for good?