Nick Diaz could be back in the Octagon in early 2013, says trainer Cesar Gracie—even if their lawsuit against the Nevada State Athletic Commission goes south.
Diaz has been sidelined for nine months so far since testing positive for marijuana metabolites after his UFC 143 main event bout against current (interim) UFC welterweight champion Carlos Condit. Since then, the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu camp has been locked in a lawsuit against the NSAC over the legality of Diaz's year-long suspension.
But even if nothing good comes out of the lawsuit, Gracie tells Fight Hub TV that Diaz will still be ready to fight as soon as he's allowed to do so:
It all depends on the courts right now. [Diaz] could come back fairly soon, hopefully. But worst case scenario, we're looking at first quarter of 2013. [Diaz] is ready to fight. I think everyone knows who he wants to fight; it's GSP. If something happens, Nick would jump right in.
Gracie also re-addressed a statement made by NSAC executive director Keith Kizer, who previously claimed to BoxingScene.com that Diaz drank 24 bottles of water in order to cleanse his system prior to his drug test. Diaz's trainer said he saw no such thing while he was there, describing at length why he found the notion ridiculous:
Even if he did drink 24 bottles of water—100 bottles, I don't know—what's your point? It's not going to dilute your urine like that, because you're going to pee and it's going to be the same dilution [rate]. If you pee 10 times, sure, it's going to be diluted, but—I don't know. [Kizer] is just looking for reasons to pick on Nick. He doesn't like anyone to go against him or challenge him, and that's what it is.
Barring a victory in court or an extended break, Diaz won't be able to reapply for a fighter's license until February 3rd, 2013.
Most recently, Gracie has been angling for Diaz to get a fight against welterweight Josh Koscheck for the UFC's anticipated Super Bowl Weekend card. Since that would place the UFC's event on February 2nd, it's unlikely that Diaz will be a participant.