Following months of speculation and rescheduling, popular UFC fighter Nick Diaz finally appeared before the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) in Las Vegas today (Mon., September 14, 2015) to receive sanctions for his third failed drug test for marijuana in conjunction with his unanimous decision loss to Anderson Silva at January’s UFC 183.
Diaz’ legal team recently revealed that they had requested a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for marijuana given that Diaz is medically licensed to use the otherwise banned substance in his home state of California. Nevada Deputy Attorney General Christopher Eccles stood firm in his stance that Diaz tried to and failed to pass a drug test for marijuana in the days leading up to the bout and only asked for the TUE because he knew he would fail again.
Lucas Middlebrook represented Diaz at today’s hearing and stated that his client would not be testifying on the basis on not incriminating himself, which visibly angered Commissioner Pat Lundvall, who said the NAC would force Diaz to deny answering inquiries on a question-by-question basis.
It wasn’t the best start for Diaz, but his team tried to right the ship by insisting that pre-fight drug tests results from tests taken at the UFC offices were not to be disclosed to the NAC as they allegedly were. A very, very lengthy back-and-forth discussion of the scientific details of Diaz’s tests ensued.
Diaz’ team, specifically Middlebrook, fought hard and raised some valid points, and even called out the NAC for interpreting the Constitution to their own purposes when Diaz plead the Fifth Amendment to each and every question that Lundvall asked.
When the heated scene was all said and done, Lundvall motioned for a lifetime suspension and the maximum fine of 33 percent of Diaz’ $500,000 purse. Commissioners Marnell and Ivansino disagreed with the lifetime ban but noted that Diaz did disregard the Commission and the rules of MMA.
Ultimately the NAC issued Diaz a brutal five-year ban including restrictions on him attending events in certain capacities and gave him the maximum fine.
Although an appeal from Middlebrook is obviously expected, this could certainly spell the end of the line for the Stockton slugger’s MMA career.
The initial backlash has been a brutal one against the NAC, as most believe it’s an absolute joke that even a fighter like Diaz would get five years for smoking marijuana. What do you think?
Social media is understandably on fire with the shocking announcement, so click over to the next page to see the reactions of some of MMA’s most prominent faces!