In 2014, Nate Diaz was being criticized by UFC president Dana White for “not being a needle-mover.” Two years later, the 32-year-old Stockton native was headlining UFC 202, one of the biggest-selling cards in UFC history.
However, it doesn’t end there, because apparently, the United States Anti-Doping Agency made changes to its rules because of Diaz. According to UFC Vice President of Athlete and Health Performance Jeff Novitzky, it all started during Diaz’s CBD vape pen use at the UFC 202 post-fight press conference last August.
“At the time, the rule was the in-competition period where CBD was prohibited lasted until four hours after the conclusion of the fight. He was clearly within that time period,” Novitzky told Joe Rogan during a recent episode of the JRE MMA Show podcast. “So, USADA contacted me and said ‘Hey, technically, Nate was in violation of this.’ And I said ‘Look, this was not the intent of the rule.’”
“The WADA prohibited list, which we follow, took it completely off starting 2018. And it was the case before. They could do it in training; it was only prohibited during competition, so weigh-in day, and fight day. Now, it’s been completely taken off the list, and it’s OK to use it anytime.”
Novitzky had to argue a little bit with USADA representatives, before these new stipulations that he named as the “Nate Diaz Rule” took effect.
“What I said was ‘Look, you can’t punish him,’” Novitzky said, recalling a conversation with a USADA representative after UFC 202. “You have the sample that shows what was in his system. Yes, CBD was prohibited in-competition, but you have the sample to show whether or not he was using it. It’s clear that he was using it after the fight.’”
“Now, basically the rule is the in-competition period ends with a collection immediately after the fight, or USADA has a reasonable amount of time after the fight.”
UFC 202 was Diaz’s most recent fight, losing to Conor McGregor via majority decision.