Nick Diaz’s Suspension is Over; Will He Return to the UFC?

August 1, 2016

Nick Diaz‘s 18-month suspension ended on July 31, making him eligible for a return to fighting for the first time since his UFC 183 headlining bout with Anderson Silva on Jan. 31, 2015.

Diaz initially lost the bout to Silva, but the result was later changed to a no contest when both men tested positive to banned substances. Diaz tested positive for marijuana, while Silva tested positive to multiple prohibited substances, including the anabolic steroid drostanolone.

Having tested positive for marijuana on multiple occasions in the past, Diaz was handed one of the harshest and most controversial penalties in combat sports history. The Nevada Athletic Commission issued Diaz what most considered a career death sentence. It suspended him for five years and fined him $165,000.

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At the time of the suspension, Diaz’s legal counsel vowed to take further legal action, but it instead of a judicial review, they negotiated a settlement agreement with Nevada, which the commission accepted unanimously. The settlement reduced Diaz’s suspension to 18 months and reduced his fine to $100,000.

Nick Diaz 091415 Hearing_4390Diaz’s suspension ended on July 31, making him eligible to return to fighting as of Monday. The Nevada commission had not responded to a request about the status of the $100,000 fine as of the time of publication.

If he returns to Nevada, Diaz also has to provide clean urine samples 30, 15, and 3 days prior to his next bout in the state. He is, however, free to go to any other jurisdiction and apply for a license under that jurisdiction’s regulations.

Following his victory over Robbie Lawler on Saturday, new UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley called for a “money fight” with Diaz as soon as UFC 202, where Diaz’s brother Nate is rematching Conor McGregor in the main event. That is highly unlikely to happen, however, and it is unclear what Diaz’s plans for a return to fighting entail, and what the UFC has in mind for him when and if he does return.

If Diaz returns to the UFC, he will now be subject to the company’s Anti-Doping Policy that is administered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, he’ll be in a UFC-Reebok uniform, and soon will be fighting under the company’s new ownership of WME – IMG. But will he return?

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