UFC 183 almost lost their main event. UFC welterweight superstar, Nick Diaz did not receive his license until the week of the fight, due to an inability to provide a clean urine sample until mere "days before" the fight, according to his coach, Cesar Gracie. MMA Fighting reports that NAC executive, Bob Bennett corroborates Gracie's story.
Gracie says that Diaz failed several tests in the weeks leading up to the fight, until he was finally able to provide a clean sample, the one that was finally submitted last week for license approval. Bennett says the paperwork didn't even cross his desk until 3 days before the fight, adding,
"It's not an anomaly," Bennett said. "We do get them at the last second. We'd prefer not to, because it creates problems. But don't think we didn't contact the promoters. We did contact the promoters. We said, 'We need a clean bill of health from Nick or he isn't fighting."
Cesar also said they were never in doubt of Nick getting licensed, but is confused as to how he popped positive after the fight (Diaz posted results of 300ng/ml, exactly double the allowed limit of 150ng/ml), since Diaz allegedly did not smoke after the test.
"My understanding was he passed the test, then he fought and then after he passed the test, he did not smoke," Gracie said. "What we think happened is the exertion of the fight affected the test and that's why he tested positive."
Bennett has a theory though, and it doesn't fall in with what Gracie claims.
"It's obvious once he provided us a negative one he started smoking again," he said.
Gracie feels it's a non-story, stating that THC is "in Nick's DNA"
"It's not a shocker," Gracie said. "His DNA is THC, let's face it. No one is surprised by that. I'm disappointed by it. It's just a distraction. It sucks. I don't want any distractions. The guy is such a brilliant fighter. I'd rather be talking about how skilled he is."
Bloody Elbow will keep our readers updated on this developing story as more information becomes available.