Nick Diaz Suspended One Year, Fined for UFC 143 Failed Drug Test

Nick Diaz (James Law/HeavyMMA)

Former Strikeforce welterweight champ out until February

Former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz has been suspended for one year and fined $79,500 for failing a drug test after his last fight at UFC 143.

Diaz appeared before the Nevada Athletic Commission on Monday in Las Vegas, along with his legal counsel, in part to answer for the test, in which he tested positive for marijuana metabolites. Diaz, as has been well documented, has medical clearance in his home state of California to use marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Diaz’s suspension is retroactive to Feb. 4, the date of UFC 143 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. In the main event, Diaz lost a five-round unanimous decision to Carlos Condit for the UFC interim welterweight title. After the fight, unhappy with Condit’s nod from the judges, Diaz claimed he was retiring from the sport.

Diaz will be eligible to reapply for a fighters license in Nevada in February. His fine, as handed down unanimously by the NSAC, is 30 percent of both his fight purse and the bonus he received after the bout for Fight of the Night. Diaz’s payday was $200,000; his bonus check was for $65,000. In addition, the commission said he will have to be tested again and pass before he will be considered for a license in the state.

This incident was Diaz’s second in Nevada. In 2007, after a submission win over Takanori Gomi Pride 33, Diaz also tested positive for marijuana and was suspended for six months and fined 20 percent of his purse. The win over Gomi was overturned to a no contest. Because he lost to Condit, there is no need to overturn that performance to a no decision.

NSAC executive director Keith Kizer said at the hearing that Diaz’s post-fight sample after his win over BJ Penn at UFC 137 was a “diluted” sample, making it abnormal – though not a positive test. But he also said Diaz did not submit to a urine sample immediately following his fight at UFC 143, with Diaz claiming he wasn’t able to urinate, and that the sample finally was produced only after Kizer said he would not receive his purse without giving one.

Diaz admitted to the commission that he uses marijuana medicinally, even during training for fights, as a treatment for AD/HD. When asked why he didn’t disclose the use of the drug on his pre-fight medical questionnaire, Diaz said he didn’t believe he needed to list marijuana as a prescription drug because it’s not available at a typical pharmacy like Walgreens. Diaz also said he left blank parts of the form asking if he had any “serious medical conditions” because he didn’t believe his condition was serious.