On Sept. 14, the Nevada Athletic Commission suspended Nick Diaz for five-years for testing positive to marijuana following his UFC 183 bout against former champion Anderson Silva. The controversial suspension continues to spark outrage.
“I don’t agree with it. I think for such a ridiculous thing like marijuana, I don’t think anybody should be getting a five-year suspension, especially a guy at his age,” said top ranked welterweight contender Rory MacDonald during a recent Q&A session in Dublin.
The suspension doesn’t only affect Diaz’s career, but it also prevents anyone from competing against the former Strikeforce and WEC champion.
“That’s a career ender. His career is pretty much over, which sucks because I would have loved to have fought him,” said MacDonald.
As a fighter, MacDonald isn’t worried about competing against athletes that use recreational drugs. He thinks the focus should be on catching and suspending those that take performance enhancers.
“I think the real problem is the performance enhancing drugs. We need to suspend these guys that are taking these bad steroids that are increasing their athletic ability to be able to hurt people,” he said.
“I’m not worried about fighting Nick Diaz if he’s smoking weed before (the fight). I’m not worried about that. I want to shut down these guys that are taking testosterone, or whatever they’re doing. Those are the guys that should be punished.”
The UFC 183 failed drug test was the third time Diaz has tested positive to marijuana in his career. The NAC amended its drug testing policies in May and a third positive test for marijuana carries a three-year ban. The updated punishment policies took effect on Sept. 1, eight months after Diaz competed at UFC 183 on Jan. 31.
Since the suspension, several athletes and celebrities have voiced their support for Diaz, including Cher. Olympic Gold Medalist and fifth-ranked UFC flyweight Henry Cejudo has stated that he would not compete in Nevada unless the suspension is overturned.