The Nick Diaz saga continues, as the Nevada State Athletic Commission issued the awaited suspension to Diaz today. The suspension is until a pending disciplinary hearing to determine what action the NSAC might take against the fighter who failed his drug screening for use of marijuana. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, since it appears that Diaz has a legal prescription to smoke pot in his home state of California. It will also be interesting to see if Diaz complies with the commission’s decree, or if he even shows up at the hearings when he is supposed to. After all, Diaz has been his own worse enemy throughout his career when faced with authority. But a lot of money is hanging in the balance for Diaz and the UFC.
Diaz is still an upper echelon fighter, with an exciting style and the type of personality that could ee him either blow himself up, or blow up into an anti-hero on the UFC’s roster that would take his popularity to the next level.
The NSAC has a process called a TUE that they use to review requests of this nature, though by their own admission they have never dealt with a request for marijuana before. I’m predicting a short suspension for Diaz, if he follows the process and plays it by the book. It is a big if, considering his track record.
But the UFC should be interested in getting Diaz back in the fold. The fact is that Diaz adds excitement to what had become a boring division. Champion George St Pierre‘s dominance, along with the stranglehold on top contender spots held by teammates Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck had left the division stagnant. Carlos Condit, the new interim champion and Johny Hendrix both represent some new blood, however neither has the fan attraction of Diaz.
Hopefully the UFC helps Diaz through this process. After that, I would not pressure him by putting him right back in the title picture – I would stick him in with Thiago Alves or Josh Koschek, and let him work himself back up the pecking order.
No one can really say how Diaz will handle the process the NSAC is about to put him through. Diaz likely doesn’t even know. Do you feel the tension – that is Diaz appeal, and why I don’t think the UFC will let him fade away to oblivion.