The last time Nick Diaz was seen fighting inside the UFC Octagon was in January 2015 at UFC 183 against Anderson Silva. Since then, the elder Diaz brother has been sidelined after rendering a positive result for cannabis during the pre-fight drug test.
Diaz’s original five-year ban as a sanction was subsequently reduced to 18 months, but he was provisionally suspended last June after failing to report his whereabouts while being part of the USADA testing pool. Specifically, Diaz failed to undergo three drug tests in that past year.
UFC president Dana White is no longer counting on a Nick Diaz return. However, one of his fellow executives, UFC Vice President of Athlete and Performance Jeff Novitzky, believes otherwise.
“I think he does (want to fight). I think he does,” Novitzky told Joe Rogan during the JRE MMA Show podcast (transcript via MMAjunkie). “I’ve sat down with him over the past couple months trying to resolve this whereabouts issues. The unfortunate thing here is, look, the whereabouts failures are there to catch people that are cheating and trying to avoid testing.”
“I just think Nick’s lifestyle led to those three whereabouts, not that he was trying to avoid testing. We’re trying to work through that.”
Novitzky believes it was more of a case of being surrounded by the wrong people that led to Diaz’s prolonged absence, which he expects to be fixed sooner than later.
“(Diaz) trusted certain individuals to do his whereabouts for him,” Novitzky said. “What I think happened was, over time, those individuals were in and out of his life, and it was unbeknownst to him that he was missing all these things. But again, there’s strict liability here. He’s currently under sanction, but we’re hoping to resolve that pretty quick.”
Similarly, younger brother Nate Diaz is currently on the sidelines, and says he would only return if he was “approached respectably.”
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