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Why did UFC legend Nick Diaz stop fighting?

Nick Diaz last fought in the UFC in 2015
Nick Diaz last fought in the UFC in 2015

The last time Nick Diaz stepped foot inside an octagon was in 2015, when he locked horns with Anderson Silva at UFC 183. The Stockton-based fighter had just renewed his contract with the UFC, setting up a high-profile bout against 'The Spider'.

Although Silva beat Diaz via unanimous decision, the result of the fight was later overturned to no contest. Diaz, who was 32-year-old at that time, has never fought anyone since then.

Nick Diaz is well known for his copious marijuana usage, and that didn't sit well with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). After his fight against Silva, Diaz tested positive for cannabis, with marijuana metabolites present in his system. This was the third time that Diaz failed a marijuana drug test, which forced NSAC to suspend him for a lengthy time of five years. He was also fined $165,000.

Nick Diaz filed an appeal against NSAC's ruling, and successfully got his ban reduced to 18 months. Subsequently, the ban was entirely lifted in August 2016, however, since Diaz was unable to pay the fine, he was considered ineligible to fight in the UFC.

According to MMA Fighting, Diaz reached an agreement with NSAC in December 2016, which allowed him to compete in the promotion, but the 37-year-old has preferred to corner his brother Nate Diaz instead.

Nick Diaz teased a comeback in 2020

Nick Diaz had teased a possible comeback in September 2020 after he successfully underwent a test weight-cut. The California native looked physically competitive, and it was the first time that he cut weight in four years. According to his manager, Nick Diaz is eyeing a return in 2021. However, UFC president Dana White isn't too excited about Diaz's return, unlike majority of the fans.

"Everything that I see from Nick Diaz doesn’t look like Nick Diaz wants to, or is ready to compete... This sport, even Jon Jones, as good as Jon Jones is, you have to be 100 per cent mentally, physically and emotionally ready to train, be ready for this and fight...I don’t think anyone should want to see Nick Diaz fight,” White told in an interview with The Schmo.

Nick Diaz is expected to fight in the welterweight or middleweight division, but nothing has been confirmed about a potential bout. Nick's brother, Nate Diaz, will be also returning after more than a year.

Interestingly, USADA has now removed marijuana from the list of banned substance, which only intensifies the talk around the return of Nick Diaz.

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Edited by aditya.rangarajan
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