Diaz suspended by NSAC 5 years, fined $165K

September 14, 2015

The Nevada State Athletic Commission handed out a 5 year suspension to Nick Diaz after his drug test failure for use of marijuana following UFC 183.

In addition to his 5 year suspension, he was fined $165,000 which is 33% of his $500,000 fight purse from UFC 183. Diaz’s attorney, Lucas Middlebrook, indicated that they would appeal the commission’s decision.  Middlebrook believes that the suspension was a “personal vendetta” against Diaz by the NSAC (h/t Brett Okamoto).

Diaz, who was present at the hearing, did not provide substantive testimony when asked questions by the commission asserting his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself.  Still, the commission asked him questions where Diaz continued to repeat “Fifth Amendment.”  The commission believed that the Fifth Amendment relates to criminal issues whereas this was a civil proceeding.  Diaz’s lawyers argued that the U.S. Constitution and the Nevada State Constitution trumps the commission rules.

It was a contentious hearing in which a lifetime ban for Diaz was discussed by the commission members.  The 5 year ban may still end Diaz’s career.

Diaz passed the first and last of the three tests he took for UFC 183.  Two different labs analyzed the tests.  He failed the second test. The attorneys for Diaz, who were far more prepared for this hearing than Anderson Silva’s lawyers, provided a medical expert that it was “medically implausible” that Diaz could register the levels of marijuana measured by the three different labs.  The AG for Nevada argued that the conflicting results did not negate each other and pointed to Diaz’s pre-fight questionnaire (which seems to be the silver bullet in these proceedings) where Diaz did not indicate he took marijuana leading up to his fight.

Payout Perspective:

We will see how this plays out but it looks like that Diaz’s attorneys will be filing a lawsuit in Nevada seeking judicial review of the commission’s ruling.  The hefty suspension cannot be easily justified when you consider that Diaz was not taking a performance enhancing drug (i.e. anabolic steroids).  Perhaps it is due to the fact that Diaz did not correctly report his drug use on the questionnaire or his past history of marijuana use which caused the severe suspension.  Regardless it’s a stiff sentence which almost invites further legal action.

24 Responses to “Diaz suspended by NSAC 5 years, fined $165K”

  1. Diego on September 14th, 2015 2:14 PM

    For weed? This is idiotic. Mind you, Diaz could have avoided this entirely by not smoking but the NSAC is moronic in how it pursues these cases. No one should give a damn if you smoke weed a month before a fight. NSAC is behind the times.

  2. saldathief on September 14th, 2015 2:33 PM

    oof thats rough but he knew the rules, even for weed. He is a complete moron. Looks like he is done and will be broke and coaching others now.

  3. BrainSmasher on September 14th, 2015 2:48 PM

    Llay stupid games win stupid prizes. Not a fan of weed smokers at all! One thing he may have working for him is past suspensions for weed by others. 5 years is unprecedented. I guess now Diaz doesn’t have to whine and ***** and sit out while theatening to quit. When you don’t appriciate something it can be taken from you! This will end his career if he doesn’t win an appeal’

  4. Logical on September 14th, 2015 3:06 PM

    Now that is one silly-ass joke of a commission, they love taking the moral high ground and levying all of this ridiculous fines on people they feel ‘wronged’ them and then they only slap the wrist of the ones that they feel were ‘honest’ with them. They are a joke and should look up to the New Jersey commission on how to properly regulate things. This is not about Nick Diaz testing positive, it’s not even about how it was about weed of all things, it’s about he ‘promising’ something and they feeling just so ‘wronged’, ******* morons.

  5. Bad decision (from both parts) on September 14th, 2015 3:41 PM

    I feel so sorry for Nick. He’s clearly addicted to this stuff.

    I think the suspension has nothing to do with him doing drugs. I think Nick bothered the wrong people and they decided to make an example of him by ruining his reputation. Call me paranoid but I don’t believe for a second that these decisions aren’t influenced by ..you know, influential people with interests.

    Nick is expendable anyway. He’s not as marketable as other fighters. So what better way to get rid of him than by making an example of him to show the other fighters what happens when they don’t toe the company’s line?

    I hope Nick fights outside north America. And I hope he takes his dose of reality. As unfair as this decision is, he knew the rules and the risks.

  6. mmaguru on September 14th, 2015 3:45 PM

    NSAC went above their own guidelines on this one, although they are permitted to do so.

    Pretty hard to fight the verdict from Nick’s perspective. The best thing that he can hope for at this point is to be released from the UFC so he can fight in the Japan, if he wishes to continue fighting.


  7. mmaguru on September 14th, 2015 3:57 PM

    Tough to watch, but we get Diaz’s position on this verdict.


  8. mmaguru on September 14th, 2015 4:08 PM

    One more thing on the subject, if you disagree with the ruling a petition has been posted which you can sign.


  9. BrainSmasher on September 14th, 2015 6:27 PM

    He doesn’t have to go to Japan. Just the states who don’t have commissions or follow NVSAC. But since getting him to fight for 500k plus was like pulling teeth. I doubt he will fight anywhere else.

  10. d on September 14th, 2015 7:33 PM

    I’m sensing a massive lawsuit heading their way by Diaz. NSAC should be embarrassed for this. There is already evidence that this was orchestrated to make an example out of him violating their own policy.

    BS- one thing to point out, even if he does fight in those states- he will have to do it without the UFC because they won’t break off from the NSAC like that. He’d probably be best to promote the fights himself- he can even do it in California- there are Indian Reservations which would host the fights.

  11. Edi on September 15th, 2015 12:50 AM

    Can we get a more I depth LEGAL breakdown of how the NSAC functions and it’s process? After viewing the video highlights of this hearing it seemed quite odd and inconsistent from a layman’s perspective. Jason Cruz or Justin Klein?

  12. BrainSmasher on September 15th, 2015 6:07 AM

    D, I agree. They would have to release him. They won’t allow him to run around fighting while under their contract as it could reflect bad on them if he does something stupid. Like you said they would never promote a fight with him while suspended. I think normally the ufc would release him seeing as he will be gone so long. But we know for a fact that Bellator will grab him up with his cult following and either use him overseas, unsanctioned states, or wait 5 years and use him then or use him outside of fighting. Specially how Bellatoe has turned into lame pro wrestling. This is the cheap attention they go for. So I could see the ufc sitting on the figjts left on the contract.

  13. d on September 15th, 2015 7:41 AM

    This is true, I completely forgot he was still under contract. I would think they would let him out of his contract though if he agreed to not sign with Bellator or any other decent sized promotions unless they supported the decision made by the NSAC, which I’d be surprised about.

  14. Chris on September 15th, 2015 9:49 AM

    NSAC bows down to Floyd, they let wife beaters fight, they let PED users fight, they give them a year. Sonnen had how many drugs in his system and he gets 2 years.

    But smoke weed and you get 5 years? Yeah its his third offense and he’s gonna get punished but 5 years?

    They were out to get him from the start. Hope he wins an appeal. NSAC are clowns.

  15. Stark on September 15th, 2015 2:51 PM

    This is the third time he gets suspended. It’s obvious Nick is depressed and addicted.

    I hope he realizes that addiction will never heal the pain of the loss of a dear one. There’s nothing he can do. Being constantly stoned and miserable won’t bring anyone back. The best thing for Nick is to pull himself together and carry on. He’s a fighter. He needs to get back on his feet.

  16. saldathief on September 15th, 2015 6:08 PM

    Here is another take on the subject, makes a lot of people look real stupid doesn’t it? Law suit bahahahahaha try again!

  17. d on September 15th, 2015 7:39 PM

    Sal obviously didn’t learn his lesson about trolling.

  18. Payout Moderator on September 15th, 2015 9:28 PM

    d, Sal:

  19. Diego on September 16th, 2015 6:30 AM

    Question for anyone who can shed light on this: according to the link sal posted the NSAC forms ask whether a fighter has used drugs in the previous 2 weeks – which I assume means the 2 weeks before the fight – but I thought that HTC metabolites stay in your system for 30 days. If so that means that a fighter can answer the NSAC question honestly (as in “no, I haven’t smoked weed in the past 2 weeks”) but still test positive. Is that correct?

  20. Diego on September 16th, 2015 6:36 AM


    I know a lot of regular smokers (meaning they smoke once or twice a week) who are neither depressed or addicted. I’m a regular drinker (meaning I go out for a few drinks once or twice a week) and I’m also not depressed or addicted.

    I’m lucky that my drugs of choice (beer and bourbon) are legal and leave my system relatively quickly. Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol, but unfortunately it is illegal and stays in your system for a long time. I’m don’t agree that it means that anyone who smokes regularly is in crisis any more than anyone who has a few drinks is in crisis.

  21. mmaguru on September 16th, 2015 9:50 AM

    Approx. 24K signatures on the petition, Rogan and Rousey coming out in favor of Diaz, and now Cejudo refusing to fight in Nevada

    Maybe this won’t go away quietly after all. #FreeNickDiaz ?

  22. Jason Cruz on September 16th, 2015 12:33 PM

    @Edi –

    Be glad to give some assistance. I will post something in the next couple days.

  23. saldathief on September 16th, 2015 3:22 PM

    Who’s trolling? think what you want, Diaz looks more and more like a moron everyday and so do those supporting him Nice try and @payout you should watch who actually reads your articles, most people only read the comments or care about the comments. Why don’t you show us the stats on articles with comments compared to articles with zero comments. There are a million mma websites dont forget.

  24. d on September 16th, 2015 3:32 PM

    No one reads these articles to see you rant on and on Sal.

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