MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Diaz suspension reduced by NAC, McGregor vs. Dos Anjos official for UFC 197

Nick Diaz’s suspension reduced, could return in August  Good news for fans of popular UFC welterweight Nick Diaz. On Tuesday the Nevada Athletic Commission reduced its penalty against Diaz after a settlement agreement. The former Strikeforce champion will be suspended 18 months and fined $100,000 stemming from a positive test at UFC 183 for marijuana per MMA Fighting. The earliest Diaz could return to the octagon is August 1st. Diaz (26-9- 2 NC) was initially suspended by the NAC for five years and fined him $165,000 back September. He last competed against Anderson Silva at UFC 183 where he initally lost by Unanimous Decision, however the contest was ruled a “No Contest” due to Silva tested positive for PED’s.   McGregor vs. Dos Anjos, Holm vs. Tate official for UFC 197 confirmed Tuesday that the rumoured title fights in the lightweight and woman’s bantamweight divisions are official. UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor steps up to lightweight to face champion Rafael dos Anjos, while  Holly Holm makes the first defence of her title defense against Miesha Tate. McGregor (19-2) looks to make history by becoming holding two belts (featherweight and lightweight) at the same time. Dos Anjos (25-7) is coming off a 66-second destruction of Donald Cerrone at UFC on FOX 17 in December. Holm (10-0) won the UFC’s bantamweight title after dismantling Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 in November. Tate (17-5) comes into this matchup on a four-fight winning streak.   Yoel Romero notified of potential USADA violation UFC officials announced on Wednesday that UFC middleweight contender Yoel Romero has been notified of the potential anti-doping policy violation. This stems “from an out-of-competition sample collection” that USADA received. “USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Romero,” the statement read. “Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.” Romero (11-1) is coming off somewhat of a controversial split-decision win over Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at UFC 194 event in Las Vegas back in December.   Brian Foster to fight Justin Gaethje for the WSOF lightweight title at WSOF 29 After a dramatic, come from behind victory in the WSOF 155lb tournament last year, Brian Foster now gets to cash in on the real prize. WSOF confirmed the news in a press release. Foster (25-8) lost his opening matchup in the tournament to Joao Zeferino but later came back into the grand-prix when Mike Ricci was injured. He then picked up a semifinal victory over Luis Palomino and followed that up with a revenge victory over Zeferino in the finals. Gaethje (15-0) is coming off back to back victories over Palomino and has stopped seven of his last eight opponents. WSOF 29 takes place March 12 at Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, CO. This is the only matchup confirmed for that event so far.   Firmino steps up to fight Fodor at WSOF 27 With an injury to Mike Ricci, Brazilian Luiz Firmino now takes on Caros Fodor in WSOF 27’s main event. Firmino (18-6) hasn’t fought since June 2014 but is coming into the match up off five-straight victories including his last fight – a win over former UFC lightweight Tyson Griffin at WSOF 10. Fodor (10-4) is coming off a second-round submission victory over Vincent Latoel at ONE Championship 20 and has won two straight. WSOF 27 takes place Jan. 23 at The Theater at FedExForum in Memphis. Here’s an updated look at the card. MAIN CARD Shamil Gamzatov vs. Teddy Holder Luiz Firmino vs. Caros Fodor Chauncey Foxworth vs. Jaleel Willis Jorge Medina vs. Bryce Mitchell PRELIMINARY CARD Justin Hartley vs. Wade Johnson Zach Underwood vs. Jason Williams Wes Sharp vs. Alvin Williams

Written by James Lynch

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