Nick Diaz is hopeful that he'll return to the Octagon by summer. The NAC (Nevada Athletic Commission) reduced its penalty against Diaz after a settlement agreement Tuesday that mandated Diaz be suspended (retroactively) for 18 months and fined $100,000 in his marijuana case.
He basically will be paying that hefty sum and staying out of the ring for that period of time after a positive test for the "drug" at UFC 183 on Jan. 31, 2015, according to MMA Fighting.
To be fair, this wasn't his first violation
Diaz had had two prior marijuana violations in the state and the NAC also accused him of lying on his pre-fight questionnaire about not having taken any drugs in the 30 days before the fight. Diaz was not able to provide any kind of clean sample to the NAC, which was stipulated due to his previous drug test failures, until a few days before his fight with Anderson Silva.
The UFC star will probably be able to fight again by August 1st. The commissioners quickly approved the settlement unanimously Tuesday without mentioning the terms: a win for Diaz and his camp.
Initially, the NAC actually had suspended Diaz for five years and fined him $165,000 in September. The length of time caused a big stir, even making waves outside of the MMA world. The decision felt a bit antiquated, especially with lots of marijuana legalization recently in the United States. An online White House petition to overturn the suspension and fine earned more than 100,000 signatures.
The NAC, though, never filed a written decision to Diaz's legal team, which opened up the door for settlement talks. The UFC's law firm Campbell & Williams joined the fight later in the fall.
In the first hearing, Diaz's lead counsel Lucas Middlebrook argued that Diaz had passed two fight night tests and that the one he failed came from a non-accredited lab. It hadn't been deemed suitable by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Nevada deputy attorney general Christopher Eccles' case revolved around the fact that Diaz's two negative tests were diluted and that he lied on his pre-fight questionnaire.
The bottom line, though, is... he's paying a ridiculous amount of money for smoking weed. A substance that isn't performance enhancing in any way, and a substance that is in the process of a lot of legislative change.