While most onlookers felt that Nick Diaz‘s defense team did a fairly good job of at least casting some serious doubt on the circumstances surrounding a positive drug test for marijuana in relation to his UFC 183 bout opposite Anderson Silva at his recent Nevada Athletic Commission hearing, nearly everyone was in shock when the commission handed Diaz a five-year suspension.
Even if Diaz were guilty of multiple offenses for having marijuana metabolites in his system on a fight night, everyone’s jaws dropped when the commission first considered a lifetime ban … even that of UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
But even though the commissioners debated Diaz’s penalty amongst themselves and decided against a lifetime ban, when they determined that Diaz would instead receive a five-year suspension and a $165,000 fine, there was still outrage.
There has been a #FreeNickDiaz hashtag campaign exploding across social media platforms and even a petition to try and get a response from the White House on the matter. Diaz’s attorneys are also working the legal system for an appeal.
It remains to be seen what the eventual outcome of his case will be, but even Cormier expressed his shock and outrage over the current status of Diaz’s case.
“I thought it was horrible,” Cormier recently told the media at a luncheon in Los Angeles. “Sometimes you see some of the other things guys have done, and compared to what Nick has done, I understand Nick is a repeat offender, but there’s no reason to… I mean, come on, five years? Why would you give anyone five years for that?”
It’s not that Cormier was necessarily saying Diaz should have gotten off without any penalty. Whether or not you believe that marijuana should be a banned substance, it is, and those are the rules that Diaz and everyone else must adhere to if they want to fight. But Cormier is certainly among those that believes the punishment did not fit the crime.
“He should have gotten a harsh punishment, but it went above and beyond,” I think it’s wrong, 100-percent. I think it’s 100-percent wrong.”