Nick Diaz hasn’t stepped foot into the Octagon since his UFC 183 showdown with Anderson Silva back in 2015. Both men ended up failing drug tests, Silva for performance-enhancing drugs and Diaz for marijuana, a subsequent offense.
Diaz and his brother Nate have always been a prickly pair but Nick has proven to be especially difficult to get back to fighting.
UFC VP of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky remains optimistic about Nick Diaz’s return, recently discussing his thoughts on the matter on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast:
“Nick was our first fighter that ran into the whereabouts issues. So he got three whereabouts failures in a rolling 12 months, so he’s currently going through that process. It’s a tough one.
“I think he does (want to fight). I think he does. I’ve sat down with him over the past couple months trying to resolve this whereabouts issues. The unfortunate thing there is, look, the whereabouts failures are there to catch people that are cheating and trying to avoid testing. I just think Nick’s lifestyle led to those three whereabouts, not that he was trying to avoid testing. We’re trying to work through that.”
Diaz is provisionally suspended due to failure to notify USADA of his whereabouts, but Novitzky believes he will compete again once the suspension ends.
UFC athletes must provide USADA with there whereabouts three times a year, something Diaz failed to do. However, Novitzky believes that Diaz’s negligence was probably due to the circle of friends and managers he keeps, people who ensure their fighter is on the up-and-up at all times:
“(Diaz) trusted certain individuals to do his whereabouts for him. What I think happened was, over time, those individuals were in and out of his life, and it was unbeknownst to him that he was missing all these things. But again, there’s strict liability here. He’s currently under sanction, but we’re hoping to resolve that pretty quick.”
Do you expect to see Nick Diaz fight in the UFC again?