Nick Diaz: A Look At Stockton's Cult Hero
According to USADA, Nick Diaz will be free and clear to resume his MMA career from 20th April 2018.
Diaz, a cult hero in MMA circle, is also a fierce believer in cannabis.Thus 'legalisation of Diaz' on 'International Day of Cannabis' is considered a joint good omen from the Gods of both worlds.
As funny as that would be, Diaz hasn't fought in over three years and hasn't won in seven years. That's a long layoff for someone competing at the elite level.
Maybe the game has evolved past him and ring rust is a real thing, but nothing really matters because whether he wins or loses, his fights are worth watching.
The "Stockton Slap'
Diaz and his younger brother Nate, both hold a massive admiration for their hometown Stockton, California.They even have a signature move named after it.
Stockton Slap is an open palm strike to the face usually followed by Diaz yelling out "Stockton" or "209" (the area code for Stockton).
It may not be as effective as a punch, but psychologically it does pay dividends.
And when two fighters go to war, their mindset is crucial to winning the fight. And the Diaz brothers are the champions of those mind games.
Prime Nick Diaz
Diaz is a well-rounded fighter, who is skilled both on the ground and in standup. He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ceaser Gracie and trains boxing with Richard Perez.
He also trains Muay Thai and Kickboxing with celebrated fighter Joe Schilling.
Diaz has an iron chin and is tough as nails. He has an enormous gas tank and can go the distance.
Before his fight with Robbie Lawler, everybody thought he was a ground fighter. On that day he proved his excellent standup and knocked Lawler out cold.
In the following fight, he faced the Judo legend, Karo Parisian. The fight was a high-level display of ground fighting techniques which was eventually won by the latter via split decision.
It was a 'young Lion beat the older Lion' moment when Diaz defeated Frank Shamrock inside round two in a 179 lb catchweight bout.
The 'Diaz vs. Daley' fight is the yardstick for the best five minutes imaginable.The fight ended with Diaz getting a TKO victory in the last three seconds in round one.
That was his last welterweight title defence in Strikeforce, later UFC took over the promotion with a merger and dismantled it.
The last victory Diaz had in his career was seven years ago against BJ Penn in UFC 137. It was declared 'The Fight of the Night' and was a unanimous decision victory for him.
Later overturned after he tested positive for banned substances, Diaz was also tested positive for marijuana.The fight was considered NC (No Contest).
Diaz, Cannabis and USADA
Gotta give props to Diaz, he went five rounds with a juiced up Anderson Silva, that too with THC in his blood.
In 2007, Diaz vs Gomi, a submission win for Diaz by Gogoplata, was also overturned after he tested positive for marijuana.
In 2015, the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended Diaz for five years following his failed drug test of marijuana metabolites for the Silva Fight. After an appeal, the suspension was reduced to 18 months.
The suspension was lifted later, but he was unable to corner Nate Diaz during UFC 196 and UFC 202 against Conor McGregor because he had served a technical suspension due to outstanding fines with the NSAC as stipulated in his settlement claim.
This week he accepted a one-year USADA sanction for failing to report his whereabouts to USADA on three occasions, and Diaz would be eligible to compete again on April 9, 2018.
The intention of having USADA scanner for UFC was to stop fighters from doping using performance-enhancing drugs.
But in Diaz's case, He just had traces of cannabis in his system, and it is not known to enhance performance.
USADA's rationale in this issue is ludicrous, they say it helped relieve pain when a fighter gets hit. which is funny because it is a good thing and it doesn't enhance athletic Performance.
Jeff Novitzky, the VP of athlete health and performance for the UFC recently in an Interview with Joe Rogan revealed that they have changed some of the policies regarding CBD (Cannabidiol). They even named it “Nate Diaz Rule".
Even Olympic athletes are given a lot of leeways when it comes to cannabis test results, and more countries are moving towards legalization.
UFC should trailblaze the change here as it really helps fighters in recovery from both physical and mental agony.
Hope they Look Into It.
Legalised Nick Diaz
Diaz has broken the silence about his return by posting his UFC 183 post-fight image on his official Instagram account. It was captioned 'Back where we left off'.
This clearly indicates that he has no plans to retreat and will make a return real soon.
Diaz was the 'God of War' in his prime. He may not be in his prime anymore, but still, he has a lot of fights left in him.
And there are a plenty of fighters on the UFC roster willing to dance with him for this historic return.
Diaz vs Michael Bisping will be a great matchup and can be a glorious return fight for Diaz, and a fun farewell fight for Bisping.
With Penn looking for a fight, a 'Diaz Vs Penn' rematch will be tremendous, So will be the bouts with Lawler, GSP or Condit.
Another very interesting fight will be Diaz against McGregor, but the Notorious One fighting again this year is a remote possibility after the UFC 223 melee.
Selling a Diaz fight is easy, and White knows how to do it.
So it's a sure possibility that, with 'Diaz brothers' ready for war, we will get to watch Stockton slaps this year.