UFC bad boy Nick Diaz is up to his old tricks again, allegedly failing a drug screening after his UFC 143 interim welterweight title fight with Carlos Condit, according to a release from the Nevada Athletic Commission obtained by Bleacher Report. USA Today is also reporting the news.
Diaz, who has run into trouble twice before for marijuana use in his decade-long fighting career, was in line for a lucrative rematch with the new champion. His failed urinalysis changes everything. From the release:
All results received thus far have been negative, except Mr. Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites. A complaint for disciplinary action against Mr. Diaz has been filed.
Diaz, who smokes legally in California with a medical marijuana card, is a vocal advocate for marijuana legalization nationwide. In 2009, he told the Los Angeles Times that he had a system for beating the athletic commission's drug tests:
I'm more consistent about everything being a cannabis user. I'm happy to get loaded, hear some good music . . . I remain consistent. And I have an easy way to deal with [the drug tests].
I can pass a drug test in eight days with herbal cleansers. I drink 10 pounds of water and sweat out 10 pounds of water every day. I'll be fine.
His foolproof method clearly failed him here, as it did once before, negating his epic win over Pride star Takanori Gomi in 2007. Diaz beat Gomi with an obscure submission called the gogoplata, essentially choking Gomi out with his shin. But the win, the biggest of Diaz's career, was snatched away from him.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission not only suspended Diaz for six months, it turned his win into a "no contest." The reasoning? Diaz's level of THC in his body gave him an unfair advantage. Diaz disagreed, sounding off to CBS Sports' Sam Caplan in a 2007 interview:
The only kind of pain it might numb me from is the fear of losing in competition and the anxiety that everybody has to go through as fighters. It's not like we can just all of a sudden cop out and go get drunk. You know what I mean? Like go out and get hammered and go 'Aw f--- man, this is too hard. I can't take it anymore. I'm just going to get drunk.' You can't do that because you won't make it back to the gym the next day. But you get loaded and run five miles like it's no thing and set all your worries aside and f------ drop your weight and do your thing and let whatever's going to happen, happen. It might make things a little bit easier so yeah, if you want to call it a performance enhancing drug in that sense, by all means do it then. Good, maybe it should be OK then. Wouldn't you say?
Diaz being Diaz, he has doubled down on his pro pot agenda since the Gomi situation. When asked if his weed smoking had gotten in the way of his fighting career, Diaz flipped the script:
Actually, on the contrary, my fight career has gotten in the way of my marijuana smoking.
Strikeforce promoter Scott Coker probably didn't feel that way in 2009, when Diaz's no-show of a California State Athletic Commission drug test prevented him from getting a license to fight Jay Hieron. Now drugs have sabotaged yet another high-profile main event. Diaz is likely to get at least a six-month suspension from Nevada. While past offenders have gotten away with just three months, including Diaz's manager and trainer Cesar Gracie in 2006, Diaz is a repeat violator.
Even more important than Nevada's response? UFC President Dana White's reaction. Will the third strike put Diaz right out of the UFC? Hang on for what might be a bumpy ride.