UFC fighter Nick Diaz has been fined $165,000 and suspended for five years by the Nevada State Athletic Commission because of multiple failed drug tests.
USA Today's John Morgan reported the news Monday on the strict penalties besetting Diaz after a hearing concluded with the NSAC. MMA reporter David Kano added the commission said it was banning Diaz for "not just marijuana but disregard."
Diaz has since reacted angrily to the ban, telling reporters that he felt as though the Commission were trying to prevent him from reaching the summit of the sport, per Heidi Fang of Fox Sports:
I wanted to just get up and tell them all like 'Look, you guys are way the f--- out of line. You guys have been trying to hold me down from day one.'
That's pretty much this whole sport has been trying to keep me from where I belong and that's the number one position. I'm the biggest draw. I'm the best fighter. I've been fighting for longer. I've been throwing more punches than everybody in the sport. I'm going to dodge more punches than everyone in this sport. And that's the bottom line. That's what's really going on. We got a whole system trying to hold me down.
Paul Dollery of The42.ie contrasted the ban Anderson Silva received for performance-enhancing drugs with Diaz's:
MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani weighed in on Diaz's lengthy suspension:
Fighters Derek Brunson and Tim Kennedy echoed a similar sentiment on Twitter:
Diaz last took the Octagon against Silva at UFC 183 and lost by unanimous decision until it was discovered Silva had taken PEDs prior to the fight. Although he did pass two tests in the hours before the Silva bout, Diaz failed one for marijuana metabolites, making this his third failed drug test overall.
Bleacher Report's Jonathan Snowden was also appalled by Monday's outcome:
The severe punishment threatens to effectively end Diaz's MMA career barring a successful appeal. It has to be expected Diaz will contest the commission's ruling, especially with the initial outrage that's followed Monday's disciplinary decision-making.
Diaz has claimed the Strikeforce Welterweight Championship in the past, but at age 32, he will be hard-pressed to compete for the UFC welterweight title if the five-year suspension is upheld. In two prior title fights, Diaz has been defeated by Carlos Condit and Georges St-Pierre, respectively.