Cleat Geeks

UFC issues Nick Diaz a Lifetime Ban for 3rd failed Marijuana Drug Test



Diaz1It has been no secret that the UFC found Nick, and younger brother Nate Diaz to be a more of a nuisance than anything else. Both men are products of Cesar Gracie, and have some of the best jiu jitsu the sport has ever seen. I had a chance to meet Nick Diaz, before his brothers bout with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for UFC 141 Lesnar vs Overeem. He showed no signs of the “Stockton” attitude that he likes to portray in, and outside of the cage. Most of his antics are simply part of the game. Diaz has rubbed the UFC organization the wrong way on several occasions. From not being able to corner his brother, to receiving a lifetime ban on top of his five-year suspension that the NSAC handed out, Diaz has been the recipient of some of the harshest punishment in MMA.

One of the greatest contests that I have ever seen took place in the Pride organization (now owned by the UFC). This fight featured Takanori Gomi against Nick Diaz. Gomi was teeing off on Diaz, causing Nick some of the heaviest damage any opponent has ever inflicted on him, when he stopped Gomi with a spectacular submission. The technique had never before been successfully completed in professional MMA. Nick Diaz won this fight by using the gogoplata. Gomi had Diaz’ back on the mat, but left his head pressed against Diaz’ chest. Nick slip his foot under the neck of “The Fireball Kid”, pulled Gomi’s head down , and submitted Japan’s most prized fighter with the top of his foot. What was one of the most revolutionary fights in martial arts, would be another stain on the legacy of Nick Diaz. The win was overturned due to a failed drug test. Apparently Nick’s THC levels were so high, that many claimed that he was numb to Gomi’s strikes, which aided him in the victory.

Eddie-Bravo-MetamorisJiu Jitsu instructor Eddie Bravo (the only American to submit a member of the Gracie family in competition), is an advocate for marijuana in this sport. Bravo claims that the drug allows for more fluidity, which alleviates some of the pressure that the sport creates, therefor leading to fewer injuries. Eddie will never “roll” on the mat without having his pre-spar smoke. There is so much debate over marijuana that it is hard to argue against either side.

Since it is a banned substance, Diaz should have never tested positive for it, but is it fair to ban a pioneer of MMA for five years, and ultimately a lifetime? Either way of the fence you decide to be on, we can all admit that it is a shame to see a person who gave his all in arguably the hardest sport on the planet, go out on such a low note. Rules are constantly broken in all sports, but everything is circumstantial. Jon Jones wasn’t stripped of his title when he tested positive for cocaine, and spent only one day in rehab. It took a felony hit-and-run investigation to get to that point. Diaz only smokes pot. Other than running his mouth, the guy is harmless, and, in my opinion, necessary for the sport. His fight with Anderson Silva wasn’t nearly as exciting as I had hoped, but it was probably the most anticipated bout of the year.

I will always be a fan of Nick Diaz. He has a bit of that “WWE” mentality, but isn’t that what entertainment is all about? It has been fun to watch his journey from Stockton California punk, to grizzled, trash-talking veteran. His KO of Robbie Lawler will live on as one of the best upsets, and all around contests that the UFC has ever had the privilege to host. They repay Diaz with a lifetime ban from the organization. Many fighters who have left the organization have voiced their angst in relation to the decisions surrounding their departure. Diaz may have the most valid claim of all, but it doesn’t make any difference. The UFC is the greatest promotion in the sport, and they are in the driver’s seat. They have simply chosen to not drive under the influence of Nick Diaz.


  1. Michael Ballentine

    September 19, 2015 at 6:07 am

    Your article is implying that Nick Diaz is bigger than the sport of MMA. As though the rules do not apply to him. Nick Diaz is not a pioneer of the sport of MMA. Even you say, in your article that Diaz was involved in UFC for a mere 5 years. He has had 37 total fights, he is not a pioneer. When you are known in a sport for your drug use more than your accomplishments, you are not a pioneer.

    Nick Diaz dropped out of high school as a freshman. And he started to fight. He had some early success in small promotions, but when he got to the UFC at got good at running his mouth and loosing. He let his victory of heavily favored Robbie Lawler go to his head in UFC 47. He then took fights in UFC 49, 51, and 53 where his record in those fights was 2-1. He then fought Diego Sanchez at the Ultimate Fighter 2 finale, where he lost. The post fight interview was on live television, and he ran his mouth saying he respected Sanchez but that he did not deserve to be there. Yet he lost to him.
    At UFC 57 he fought and lost to Joe Riggs. At the prelim and the pre-fight weight-in the two men had to separated. And after the fight the two men were taken to a hospital, where they got into another fight. I assume this is why you said he had a “WWE” attitude. Diaz sounds to me like a guy who likes to run his mouth, and can’t back it up. He sounds like a punk.
    Diaz then fought Sean Sherk in UFC 59 and lost for the 3rd consecutive time.
    Diaz returned to his hometown of Stockton and participated in the International Cage Fighting Organization’s inaugural event, defeating Ray Steinbeiss by unanimous decision. Diaz was slated to fight in his hometown again against Canadian John Alessio when he received an unexpected call the night before the fight from the UFC asking to fill in for an ill Thiago Alves at UFC 62.

    After Alessio pulled out, Diaz took advantage of the opportunity, submitting veteran Josh Neer in the third round. Seemingly back in the UFC, Diaz stopped Brazilian newcomer Gleison Tibau with strikes in his next fight at UFC 65. However, even after the win and the reassurance that the UFC would give him another fight, Diaz decided to sign with the Gracie Fighting Championships and leave the UFC. GFC had Diaz scheduled to fight Thomas Denny in January 2007, but due to poor ticket sales the event was ultimately scrapped. So, now your “pioneer” can’t sell tickets or back up his big mouth.
    Next, Diaz then signs a 2 fight deal with Pride Fighting Championships. He won both of these fights, again in a lower organization in MMA. But after his 2nd fight, he tested positive for marijuana, and the fight was declared a no contest. The failed drug test was administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. For his 1st offence he was suspended 6 months and fined $3,000. On the NSAC test 15 is considered failure, for athletes the NSAC gives allows them to go to a 50 threshold without failure, yet Diaz still failed the test. He failed the test with what the NSAC called an “enormous” number, because it was. He failed with 175!
    From there he joins EliteXC on a reportedly 2 year deal. He won his first match and lost his second match. The 2nd match was stopped by the doctor on site. Diax flipped out, shoved a camera away from himself and flipped off the doctor. After losing the Noons fight via-doctor stoppage due to a cut, Diaz had surgery and had the bone filed down on his eyebrows to prevent any bad cuts in future bouts.
    Diaz came into his next fight at EliteXC’s “Return of the KING” event in Honolulu, Hawaii against Muhsin Corbbrey 9 pounds over the weight limit.[14] Diaz earned a tough win over Corbbrey, following the main event an altercation between Nick and his brother Nate broke out with KJ Noons and his corner. EliteXC executives asked Diaz to come to the ring and make a statement about a possible title rematch with Noons. Noons, a native of Hawaii, asked the crowd their opinion, resulting in an echo of boos for Diaz. After Nick spoke over the microphone to Noons, saying, “don’t be scared homie,” Karl Noons, KJ’s father, lunged at him prompting Nate Diaz to throw a water bottle at Karl. The Diaz brothers were quickly escorted out of the cage by a group of security staff. During interviews the next day Nick claimed Karl was intoxicated and overreacting. Meanwhile, Karl claimed his incident was prompted by the thrown bottle. Video replay of the event showed Nate throwing the bottle after Karl jumped at Nick. No one was injured as the Diaz brothers left the arena entrance “flipping the bird” to the fans and Noons’ corner. Diaz had 1 more match for the company, then it went out of business.
    Diaz then went to Strikeforce. He started to string together some wins for the company. Then he had a fight canceled due to Diaz’s failure to attain his license after not attending a pre-fight drug test. I could not find anywhere that Diaz was given any punishment for this questionable incident. In fact, he was seemingly rewarded, his next fight was for the Strikeforce Welterweight Championship. He won the match and became the first Strikeforce fighter to successfully defend the Championship 3 consecutive times.
    For some reason the UFC decided to bring back Diaz. He continued to be a problem child. Dana White was forced to replace Diaz in his 1st scheduled fight back. He eventually beat B.J. Penn in UFC 137 but went back to old ways as he ran his mouth to St. Pierre. So they were scheduled to fight, St. Pierre pulled out due to injury and Diaz ended up fighting Carlos Condit. He not only lost this bout, but afterwards was so irate that he said he was going to retire. But, he did not get the chance to retire. He tested positive for marijuana again and was suspended for 1 year following his 2nd failed test.
    Let’s review. Diaz does well in the lower MMA organizations, but runs his mouth, get beat, and threatens to take his ball and go home and fails drug tests in the UFC. Is this your definition of pioneer?
    After his suspension Diaz faced Georges St-Pierre at UFC 158 and lost. A possible Middleweight matchup between Michael Bisping and Nick Diaz was briefly linked, but soon turned down by Diaz. At UFC on FOX 9 in Sacramento, Dana White offered Diaz a rematch with Carlos Condit; Diaz turned it down. Diaz attended UFC 170 and had told media that he would return if he could get an immediate title shot. So, UFC allows loosers and cheats to dictate when and how they return to their promotion.
    This must be true because on On July 24, 2014, it was announced that Diaz had signed a three fight contract to return to the UFC. Diaz faced Anderson Silva on January 31, 2015 at UFC 183. He lost the fight by unanimous decision. A few days after the fight, the UFC revealed that Diaz had once again failed his post-fight drug test for marijuana. This is the suspension that occurred this week.It was actually a 5 year suspension, but at his current age he would be over 40 when the 5 year suspension is complete, therefore it is looked at as a lifetime suspension.
    In my opinion Diaz is a high school dropout who doesn’t like to follow rules. He has been given plenty of chances and now has to suffer the consequences. He is no pioneer, he is a punk who finally got what he deserved. When you know the rules and you break the rules, then you deserve to be punished.

    • Darin Wade

      September 19, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      My article, and your response appear to be the difference of someone who watched everything transpire, and one who simply did extensive research. What casual MMA fans do not understand, is that mixed martial arts is much more than wins and losses. Of course you can pick Diaz apart, for he is an easy target. Clay Guida is one of the UFC’s most exciting fighters in year’s past. Some of the greatest wars in the sport had his name attached to it. Insanely enough, most of those great fights were also losses on his record. He continues to fight for the promotion for his determination, and entertainment value.
      My definition of “pioneer” is not inaccurate. What do fans need in their sports? A villain.The NFL is fueling the Patriots style of play because everyone wants to beat them. It is a business ploy to create more program watches. This is what Diaz has been for MMA. He was issued the 5-year ban by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, but the UFC trumped it and slapped him with a lifetime ban from the organization.
      To label someone because of their academic record, and on camera antics is a bit unfair. This sport has always been an avenue for the more “unorthodox” human beings. It is full of college graduates, state wrestling champions, and consequently high school dropouts. How fun would it be to watch only perfect specimens, with shiny pasts compete? Georges St. Pierre has one of the best win/loss records in the UFC, but has such a “boring” fighting style.
      I cheered heavily against Nate Diaz when he fought Benson Henderson on live television, which had to be blocked multiple times while he flipped him off from grounded positions. But it is exciting to see the villain thwarted in the harshest combat sport on the planet. Nick also lost most of the fights that you mentioned by decision. He stood in there and gutted it out with the best the sport has to offer. I’ve actually seen these 15 and 25 minute chess matches play out, and didn’t just read the outcome to form my opinion.
      Yes Riggs, and Diaz fought in the hospital, but let’s go ahead and have a round of applause to the nurses who sat these two very highly emotional fighters in rooms right next to each other. I respect a person who talks, and then backs it up. Diaz had a doctor stop his fight with Noons, something he had no control over. He followed that up by stopping Noons unanimously in their second fight.
      Paul Daley was Nick Diaz’ last Strikeforce victory. Daley was forced to leave the UFC after he knowingly struck an opponent after the fight had ended. He is a “punk” in my opinion, and should be receiving punishment similar to this 5-year drug ban. Even with as much as Diaz disrespects his opponents, he has never done what Daley did. Of course he is going to support the man who taught him everything he knows about the sport in Cesar Gracie when he tries to start his own promotion. Affliction proved that it takes more than a big name to compete with the UFC. Nate and Nick actually worked to start their own MMA promotion, but that never transpired either.
      The sport wouldn’t be what it is today without Nick Diaz, if you can’t see that, then you haven’t been watching. This was never more apparent than when he fought Anderson Silva. Nick did nothing to disrespect Silva leading up to the fight. How could he? Anderson has taken out everyone not named Chris Weidman in the UFC, but he, like Diaz, has a “show boat” fight style once the cage doors close. Diaz tried to do what he has always known, and that is draw an opponent in so that he can counter his attack, much like a Floyd Mayweather. That is the reason for all of his trash talk. If he can get into an opponents head and cause him to leave his training at the door step, and turn this professional fight into a street fight, then he will. That is how he has been relevant for so long. Viewed from the outside, I can see what you’re saying, but as someone who has met the man, I have to respect him.

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