The UFC acted quickly when Nate Diaz sent out an ill-advised tweet on Thursday. The promotion almost immediately suspended the fighter pending an investigation. That investigation was completed on Friday evening and Diaz’s punishment for stepping outside the bounds of the UFC code of conduct was handed down.
The punishment that was handed down by the UFC? A 90-day suspension and a $20,000 fine.
Call it harsh, call it over the top, call it what you want, but make sure to call it a clear message from the UFC. The message is that this type of behavior, perhaps once accepted or at the very least tolerated, is no longer something that will be laughed off as “boys being boys.”
When Diaz’s penalty was announced on Friday night and there was no response from Diaz or his manager, Mike Kogan, there was hope that maybe the fine and suspension had served as a wake-up call for Diaz. There was hope that maybe being fined more than he made in his last fight would be enough of a deterrent to make Diaz realize he should think before he hits send on his twitter account.
Early Saturday morning an unrepentant Diaz sent out the following:
So, with attention clearly on him, with a lot of eyes watching what his next step would be, Diaz decided he was going to go out there and keep it real. Where others would have kept silent, Diaz decided that blasting away with yet another offensive, misogynistic message was a good idea. It was not a good idea.
Look, I get it. Diaz is upset that Pat Healy was popped for weed and that Bryan Caraway, the man the tweets were directed at, took the $65,000 bonus for “Submission of the Night” that Healy forfeited. Diaz is upset that Caraway then blasted the use of marijuana, but let’s be honest, that conversation is best kept out of the public eye. Diaz should have kept his complaints among friends and not made it a public issue.
Does Diaz deserve further punishment?
The minute that Diaz put his feelings out there on Twitter it reflected poorly on his employer, the UFC, and they had to act, especially since they now have a code of conduct in place that discusses this type of fighter behavior.
So now what? The UFC is in a quandary. It’s fairly obvious that the message the promotion was hoping to send didn’t sink in for Diaz. Do they need to pull him in and have a conversation with him face to face explaining how to act? Do they need to fine him again for sending out a misogynistic tweet (and yes, "bitch" is a misogynistic term, no matter how you try and defend it)?
Clearly the UFC needs to do something with Diaz, something that allows the message to sink in.