Nick Diaz could be fighting sooner than expected, so long as his discussions for a settlement with the Nevada State Athletic Commission go better than his initial hearing.
Diaz’s legal team is currently in the midst of settlement talks that could have Diaz back inside the Octagon as early as 2016 — a far cry from the original five-year suspension the commission handed down months back regarding the Stockton fighter’s failed drug test at UFC 183 — sources told MMAFighting.
“Just spoke with my legal team at Campbell & Williams and talks with the [NSAC] are going well,” Diaz wrote in a caption on his Instagram account. “We’re working hard to get this right. Thanks for the support.”
The former Strikeforce champion was fined $165,000 and suspended five years after testing positive for marijuana metabolites after his fight with former middleweight king Anderson Silva in January. It was the third failed test of his pro career, all stemming from his marijuana use.
Many in the MMA community cried out for the injustice forced upon Diaz, claiming the commission had no right to go against its own protocol and suspend Diaz for such a lengthy period without justification. Plenty believed Diaz was only punished for acting like, well, Diaz.
The support for Diaz reached an all-time high when a White House petition — aimed at having officials in Washington review his case — surpassed its goal of 100,000 signatures days before the deadline.
Diaz has not fought since the January loss to Silva. Prior to that, he’d spent two years away from the cage, claiming he’d retired after losing in a championship fight to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 158.