MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Nick Diaz USADA Suspension Over In 10 Days

Nick Diaz Can Return From USADA Suspension Soon

USADA, the UFC’s official anti-doping partner, came out with some massive news on Monday evening when it announced that Nick Diaz had accepted his sanction for missing three drug tests during a 12-month period. Diaz received a one-year suspension for the infraction, but that’s dated retroactively back to April 19, 2017. That’s just over a week from now, meaning Diaz will be able to fight in the Octagon again very soon, which is massive news for fight fans who want to see him compete, as well as for the UFC, who badly need stars.

Diaz (30-6, 1 NC) has not competed since losing a unanimous decision to Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 183 back in January 2015. That loss was later overturned to a No Contest after Silva tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, though Diaz himself tested positive for marijuana metabolites after the fight. But even though Diaz hasn’t fought in three years now, he never officially announed his retirement from MMA, and stayed in the USADA testing pool in the meantime. That means that when he wants to come back to the UFC and when the promotion offers him a fight he won’t have to go back in the pool like Brock Lesnar must. That’s massive news for the UFC, who could use Diaz’ drawing power as the promotion looks to have a long absence from former lightweight champion Conor McGregor after he was invovled in an assault on a bus last week prior to UFC 223 in Brooklyn.

Though Diaz has not won a fight since a decision win over BJ Penn at UFC 137 back in October 2011, he remains one of the most popular fighters in the sport. Since that fight with Penn, Diaz has fought three times, losing in his bid to become the interim welterweight champion in a controversial decision to Carlos Condit back at UFC 143 in February 2012 and again losing a decision to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 158 in March 2013 in a failed bid to become the undisputed welterweight champion, plus the fight with Silva. But even though he hasn’t had much success as of late, Diaz has still been a prime target of callouts, as current welterweight champ Tyron Woodley has called him out for a superfight on multiple occasions. Whenever Diaz does return, the UFC will have options for his matchup as he could fight at both 170lbs or 185lbs, not to mention a potential catchweight. Look for Dana White and co. to start discussions with Diaz on a contract soon, and hopefully he returns to the Octagon by the end of the year.

Written by Adam Martin.

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