The Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) has reduced UFC fighter Nick Diaz’s suspension to 18 months from its original sentencing of 5 years. Diaz’s original sentence, handed down in September of 2015, was due to testing positive for cannabis use stemming from his most recent UFC fight in January of 2015.

The NAC’s governing body scaled back Diaz’s sentence through a quick unanimous vote but declined to give details on the matter. In addition to the reduced suspension time, Diaz also had the size of his fine reduced, from $165,000 to $100,000.

Diaz’s initial suspension was handed down following his third test-positive for cannabis use. The ensuing public backlash in his favor brought forth an online petition that garnered 100,000 signatures, support from other fighters like Rhonda Rousey, and even a response from the White House.

A spokesperson for the NAC declined to comment on the commission’s scaling back of Diaz’s sentence, calling it “an ongoing matter.”

Diaz is eligible to return to the UFC ring on August 1, 2016. He is likely to book a fight with for the time period immediately following his renewed eligibility.

Despite what was ultimately an easing of Diaz’s sentencing, the UFC last summer imposed a strict new series of anti-drug penalties on its fighters, which included enhanced penalties for cannabis use.

photo credit: UFC

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