Nick Diaz vs. the NSAC- Round 3: Settlement
Related: Nick Diaz vs. the NSAC, Nick Diaz vs. the NSAC- Round 2
Yet again, one half of the trash-talking tandem known as the Diaz brothers, Nick Diaz, is in the headlines. It looks like the suspended Diaz and his supporters got their wish...sort of. Members of the MMA media are reporting that the outspoken veteran could strap on a pair of gloves as early as August after his previously unheard of five year ban and $165,000 fine was reduced to a retroactive 18-month ban and $100,000 fine by the Nevada State Athletic Commission yesterday.
Although the Twitter hashtag #FreeDiaz and a White House petition did not get Diaz’ suspension lifted, the overall outcry (and over 100 thousand signatures) helped in the reduction of the suspension which stems from Diaz’ third marijuana-related drug test failure at UFC 183 on January 31 of last year. With the UFC legal council of Campbell and Williams on his side, MMAFighting.com reported that settlement discussion began after the commission failed to file a written decision.
“In the first hearing, Diaz's lead counsel Lucas Middlebrook argued that Diaz had actually passed two fight night tests and the one he failed came from a lab that was not accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency.” It should be noted that the decision to approve the reduction was unanimous. MMAFighting most recently also reported that Diaz admitted to “wrongfully” using his Fifth Amendment right (more than a large part of his defense) during his original NSAC hearing in September. "After conferring with new counsel," "I determined that I wrongfully invoked Fifth Amendment in response to relevant questions posed by members of the Commission and that I should have, and would have, testified to the Commission that I did not use marijuana 'in-competition,' as that term is defined by the World Anti-Doping Agency ('WADA') in its Anti-Doping Code." "It became apparent that the NAC wanted the Fifth Amendment issue as part of any negotiated settlement and therefore the choice was between lengthy litigation or having Nick resume his career this summer," (withdrawn council Lucas) Middlebrook said.