With Nick Diaz popping a positive test for marijuana following his UFC 143 loss to Carlos Condit, there has been some questioning of how long Diaz will be suspended. Nevada has handed down two recent suspensions for marijuana and both fighters have had their licenses suspended for one year and also lost a significant percentage of their purse.
As Nate pointed out yesterday, Kevin Iole wrote about Matt Vanda, a boxer who tested positive for marijuana for the second time this past December. Vanda had popped once in New Jersey and only received a 90 day suspension and on his positive test in Nevada he got the full twelve months and lost forty percent of his purse.
On the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez III, Joel Casamayor tested positive for marijuana, his first such issue. Casamayor was fined $10,000 (ten percent of his $100,000 purse) and had his license suspended for a year.
Given Diaz's prior positive test there is almost no chance we see him not get the full year license suspension, which will be enforced by every other commission. Given that the commission could fine him up to 100% of his purse for the test, I have a feeling we're going to see him get at least the forty percent suffered by Vanda. Especially given his continued flaunting of his drug use and how easily he claimed he could pass any of the commission's tests.
More after the jump...
Diaz will also have to stand in front of the NSAC and endure some serious heat after his suspension when he attempts to get his license reinstated. The commission has been making a bigger and bigger show of these license hearings as of late. They took boxer Victor Ortiz to task for comments made in an interview that the next time he headbutts someone he isn't going to hug them, but rather try to break their nose. This was apparently such a moment of seriousness that the commission had to have a full hearing to let him know that fouling is bad and if he fouled in his (now rescheduled) bout against Andre Berto, they'd be very upset. The same kind of drama was brought to Floyd Mayweather, Jr.'s hearing to get his license despite his recent legal troubles.
It will be interesting to see how Nick handles the, quite frankly, condescending nature of the NSAC questioning during these hearings and if he'll simply sit back and put on a smile and get through it or if he'll feel the need to respond negatively and possibly jeopardize his ability to get a license in 2013. Not to mention, as the Ortiz situation shows, the NSAC will hold you accountable for things you say in the media. So Diaz needs people advising him to not go out in public and talk about how he'll continue to smoke before fights. There is no guarantee that he gets a license if the commission feels that he is making a mockery of their process and continues flaunting his pre-fight use.
There is also the question of how a twelve month layoff will affect Diaz. He has been on a very busy schedule, fighting seven times since the start of 2010. While his competing in triathlons will keep him in great shape and he certainly won't be leaving the gym any time soon, there is no accounting for what the actual lack of full competition for over a year will do to a fighter.
Finally, one has to wonder how serious of a position the UFC will ever put Diaz in going forward. He's already lost a title shot for failing to meet media obligations, now he popped a second positive drug test when put into a main event interim title fight. When he comes back from the suspension (assuming the UFC doesn't release him), is there a chance that Dana White and company ever see fit to put him in a position of importance again? I just don't see it.