Nickolas Robert Diaz, the former mixed martial artist known as Nick Diaz, has been a professional Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor since 2001. After receiving the second longest suspension in the history of the sport, Diaz may not be permitted to compete for the UFC title for five years.
On Monday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission considered banning the fighter for life before agreeing on a five year suspension because Diaz tested positive for cannabis for the third time in his 14 year career. On top of the suspension, the fighter was fined $165,000.
As advised by his attorney, Diaz declined to answer a single question during the hearing. Instead he replied,
“Respectfully, I’m not going to answer the question. Fifth amendment.”
Although Diaz did not answer a single question during the hearing, he did speak to the media after the proceedings. When asked how he was feeling, Diaz remarked,
“I’m pretty pissed off.”
Skip Avasino, commissioner of the NSAC acknowledged that banning Diaz for five years is essentially the same as handing the 31 year old fighter a lifetime ban. Francisco Aguilar, NSAC chairman added,
“This is not just a marijuana issue. This is an issue of marijuana, a lack of being forthright, a lack of cooperation to make the sport better, a disregard for rules — it hurts other athletes just as much.”
Diaz’s lawyers are appealing the length of the suspension, but it is unclear when the issue may be settled.
photo credit: UFC