New UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley counted Nick Diaz and Georges St-Pierre as his top two choices for his first title defense. Even though it still appears that his number one option, St-Pierre, is a longshot, Diaz still has a few hurdles to clear before he can fight again, too.
Doubt about St-Pierre’s participation is mostly self-inflicted. He stepped away from the Octagon nearly three years ago, and despite constantly saying he might come back, there has been little measurable movement on that front.
Diaz was another story altogether. He tested positive to marijuana in relation to his UFC 183 headlining bout with Anderson Silva in January of 2015. After narrowly averting a lifetime suspension and then having a five-year suspension reduced, Diaz finished serving his 18-month sentence on Aug. 1.
In order to come into compliance with Nevada, which is where he received his suspension, Diaz has to request a new license at least 30 days prior to his fight. He must then submit a clean drug test sample 30, 15, and 3 days prior to the fight.
While drug tests have proved challenging for Diaz, he also has a significant monetary blockade to clear. The Nevada Athletic Commission’s initial fine was $165,000. That was later reduced to $100,000. As of Aug. 4, Diaz still had an outstanding balance of $75,000 on the fine, according to Bob Bennett, the NAC’s executive director.
Diaz must pay the balance of the fine to Nevada before he would be considered for a license to fight in the state.
Other jurisdictions are not required to honor Nevada’s stipulations, but Bennett hopes that other states would. He also hopes that Diaz meets his obligations and decides to return to Nevada to fight again.
“He is a terrific and entertaining fighter who the fans love,” Bennett told MMAWeekly.com. “Hopefully we will see Nick fight in Las Vegas again.”