On Tuesday morning, we put out a prediction that, based on past trends, the petition for an official White House response to the five-year ban and $165,000 fine imposed on UFC fighter Nick Diaz by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) would close at only 85,000 signatures - 15,000 short of the required goal. Laced throughout were not-so-subtle suggestions and numerous links encouraging people to break from the trends and make the prediction wrong. Well, consider things structurally broken.
The Diaz petition gained massive traction within a 24-hour period with any number of factors possibly being at play. In addition to Bloody Elbow, MMA Junkie and MMA Mania both had articles informing readers of the Friday deadline and the current signature shortfall. Joe Rogan put the petition link on Twitter and Facebook and told his followers to "DO IT!" Numerous fighters tweeted out the link. Tommy Toe Hold got into the mix with a hilarious show dedicated to the petition and included the link at the bottom for a nice path of least resistance. Some people even went so far as to purchase ad space on social media outlets. If there were other important showings of support we missed, please give them a shout out in the comments.
In putting our piece together, what started as a prediction model turned into a hope that any extra attention might help create a structural break. We had no idea it would be a small part of such a huge cumulative effort during one crazy day. At roughly 27,000 signatures, Tuesday's bump dwarfed the previous bumps from the Boston Herald's article and Cher's tweet. Things got rolling so well, it more than covered any day prior. Whatever the reasons, the MMA community clearly and emphatically broke from the prior trends and everyone who played a role should feel good about it.
Who knows how the White House response will turn out. If the goal is for the President to overturn or influence the NAC ruling, that might require some serious finger crossing. If the goal is more attention for the case, then consider the petition a success.
No matter what the outcome, at the end of the day would you rather live in a world where the Diaz petition reaches 100,000 signatures or one where it doesn't? We know our answer.