Diaz sues Nevada State Athletic Commission

April 26, 2012

MMA Fighting reports that Nick Diaz has filed a lawsuit against the Nevada State Athletic Commission. In addition, Diaz’s attorney filed a preliminary injunction which would stay Diaz’s suspension related to his failed drug test from UFC 143.

Via MMA Fighting:

The suit is asking the court to immediately stay the summary suspension handed out to Diaz by the NSAC as well as to enjoin the NSAC from going ahead in any further disciplinary proceedings. Diaz’s complaint also asks the court to declare his due process rights have been violated by the NSAC’s failure to promptly convene a hearing to determine the merits of the disciplinary complaint against him.

Diaz – Prelim Injunction

Diaz vs. NSAC
Diaz’s attorney stated that according to statute, Diaz’s disciplinary hearing must have been heard within 45 days of the temporary suspension or it would consider the complaint dismissed. However, Diaz failed to appear at a temporary suspension hearing according to the NSAC.

Payout Perspective:

This will be interesting to see how the court rules on April 14th – the date of the preliminary injunction hearing.  Diaz is not challenging the merits of the NSAC’s complaint, but the process.  This could have major implications for the NSAC and athletic commissions on a broader scale as it relates to how it governs.

Diaz indicates that he is ready to fight immediately if the suspension is lifted.  This could be helpful for the UFC for its late summer/fall schedule as a rematch with Carlos Condit would fill a PPV main event in prelude to a GSP showdown in Montreal.

UPDATED 4/29/12:

Diaz’s primary complaint is that the NSAC has not acted within the statutory regulations provided by the state of Nevada which relates to his other complaint of lack of due process.  Essentially, Diaz states that the temporary suspension required the NSAC to have a full hearing on the merits of his drug test and subsequent suspension.  That has not happened.  The NSAC had served Diaz with an Amended Complaint which adds the fact that Diaz lied on his pre-fight questionnaire.  The NSAC may argue that the amendment to its original Complaint equated to additional time required prior to a full hearing on the merits.

Another interesting observation is the explanation from Diaz’s camp that it did not challenge the initial “Summary Suspension” due to the reliance that it would receive a full hearing “in the near future.”  Diaz’s legal counsel does a good job in laying out dates of its continued request to the NSAC as to when Diaz may receive a hearing.

It’s an interesting legal strategy and its plausible that the injunction may be granted.

7 Responses to “Diaz sues Nevada State Athletic Commission”

  1. Bruce on April 26th, 2012 10:22 PM

    This is not a smart move for Diaz and UFC. Not sure who is paying his legal fees, but they MUST be astronomical. I’m not planning to read the petition but after cursory evaluation it just looks like a bunch of hair-splitting legalese mumbo-jumbo based in “due process.”

    A reviewing court has to give deference to any admin agency’s ruling, and just imho this cause of action will not fly. I just fail to see how Diaz’ rights to fair hearing and opportunity to be heard were denied, even if the Commission may not have followed the letter of the law. He was represented the entire time.

  2. Bao on April 27th, 2012 8:12 AM

    “This is not a smart move for Diaz and UFC” How is UFC involved in this suing? There is no evidence that they’re with Nick and agreeing with him to sue the NSAC.

    Plus, Diaz makes a lot of money, you can see that after he fights when they publish his pay cut, but also keep in mind UFC pays extra behind the scenes to their fighters so we will never know how much Diaz of any other UFC fighter truly makes. So I think it’s safe to say Diaz lawyer fees are affordable and that’s why he’s continuing to sue. Cause how else is he suppose to make more money?

  3. Bruce on April 27th, 2012 11:45 AM

    Because UFC controls nearly everything their fighters say and do depending on how it affects their own image, and certainly whether they file an MMA related law suit, which will undoubtedly impact them in the future.

    And I don’t think it is safe to say that at all; I have no doubt ZUFFA is at least chipping in for legal fees. Diaz does not have 50-200k to throw away on attorneys, particularly because their chance of a successful outcome is slim. Very slim.

  4. BrainSmasher on April 28th, 2012 3:40 PM

    I think there is no doubt the UFC has either advised him to fight the commission and likely referred a lawyer and are possible covering the costs. I looked up the law group defending Diaz and they have an article from ESPN about the case on their front page in the news section. I scrolled down a bit further and saw a PDF file link in the News section with the title “UFC acquire’s top assetts from Goodman’s Company”. Ross Goodman of the Goodman Group is defending Diaz. It wont allow me to bring up the link to see exactly how the UFC is connected to Goodman. But i think there is definately a link between the two.


  5. BrainSmasher on April 28th, 2012 3:55 PM

    Ok found the info i was looking for. Nick Diaz lawyer, Ross Goodman is the former owner of WFA (World Fighting Alliance) who sold out to the UFC in 2006. (This is how the UFC got Rampage Jackson) Here is a quote from Goodman in the press release at the time…

    “This is an exciting time for MMA as evidenced by the 60 Minutes story last night and we are glad that the WFA has played a leading role, said Ross Goodman, President of the WFA. This business opportunity presented itself and it made sense for everybody to make this transition.”

  6. Diego on April 30th, 2012 1:19 PM

    I can’t see the UFC picking a fight with any commission. They have never before gotten involved with any fighter’s defense and have always respected the rulings in terms of not “commission shopping” on behalf of fighters who have been suspended in one state. I think this is Diaz doing what he does best – being belligerent – though this time he’s employing a lawyer instead of his fists. His fists would be cheaper, and more fun to watch.

  7. BrainSmasher on April 30th, 2012 9:39 PM

    I dont think the UFC is involved either. But they very well could have set him up with legal counsel. If he came to them and said he wanted to fight this and could they recomment anyone. I know they would do what they could and send him to the right people and also hope he won. Zuffa clearly has a past connection with the guy. That said DIaz could have come across him a 100 different ways. I just think since it was in Vegas and Diaz not being from there likey got point in this guys direction.

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