American mixed martial artist Nick Diaz and the Nevada State Athletic Commission are presently in settlement talks that may drastically reduce the suspension of five years handed out to Diaz in September. The 32-year-old Diaz confirmed the discussions on Tuesday via social media. It is believed that Diaz could return as early as next year according to conditions of the potential settlement.
The positive test relates to a non-title middleweight fight at UFC 183 on January 31 in Las Vegas against Anderson Silva. The fight was changed to a no-contest after Silva tested positive for multiple anabolic steroids and received a one-year suspension from the NSAC. Diaz passed two drug tests administered that night but failed a third. The two tests he passed were analyzed by a World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited lab in Salt Lake City while the third, failed test was analyzed by QUEST Diagnostics in Las Vegas.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission banned Nick Diaz for five years and imposed a fine of $165,000 during a disciplinary hearing September 14, after he failed a drug test taken January 31. During the hearing, Diaz declined to answer any questions related to his failed drug test. The suspension, which is likely to end the UFC career of Diaz, was met with enormous public outrage.
This was the third time the UFC welterweight has tested positive for marijuana in the state of Nevada. He tested positive for marijuana metabolites in 2007 and received a ban of six months. Diaz again tested positive for marijuana metabolites in 2012 and unsuccessfully challenged his suspension. Diaz argued the 2012 positive test and argued that inactive metabolites of marijuana are not technically banned in competition under Nevada statutes but ultimately served the suspension.
NSAC chairman Francisco Aguilar confirmed the settlement talks. In a statement, Aguilar said the Nick Diaz disciplinary matter will not be on the agenda at the regularly scheduled meeting of the NSAC on Thursday in Las Vegas and added settlement discussions between the NSAC and Mr. Diaz and his counsel are ongoing.
In another development, Joe Schilling said the suspension of Diaz will turn out positively. The Bellator MMA and GLORY star said he sees the decision of NSAC being overturned briskly and the oversight of the organization being examined. Schilling added Diaz will be an even bigger draw once he returns to the Octagon. Schilling also commented that it is just really ridiculous and insulting that they did it to Nick Diaz. He also remarked it is really unfortunate and disappointing and annoying that it happened to Nick but he thinks overall, it's a good thing for the sport and it's a good thing that all the people are making noise about it and supporting Nick. Schilling, a training partner of Diaz, said he has been left impressed by the show of support his friend has received from peers, fans, and even strangers. The GLORY star also commented that Nick Diaz would not be known as the bad guy who failed the drug test but as the guy that changed the way they test for marijuana as it is a ridiculous rule.