After 48 hours, is something old news?
Regardless, a couple of days ago Nick Diaz, one of the most decorated mixed martial artists out there, was banned from fighting for five years by the NSAC (Nevada State Athletic Commission).
For anabolic steroid use? No.
For using ‘illegal’ methods to win fights? No.
What is it, then?! Did he murder somebody?!
He smoked marijuana and had trace elements of the ol’ reefer in his system. This was his third offense, and it netted him a 5-year ban.
“Now, wait here a minute! This was his third offense, and he should have known better! He deserves it!” I hear plenty of critics spewing that line.
I have a big problem with all of this. First and foremost, third offense or not, Nick Diaz did not use a performance enhancing drug. A banned substance (imposed by the NSAC)? Absolutely. Five years, though? Read that a few more times: five years?! Diaz is only 32-years-old, but he’s been fighting professionally since 2003.
Jon Jones tested positive for cocaine metabolites back in January, and he never faced punishment for it. (Apparently cocaine is not termed a banned substance by the NSAC). Jones, then, back in March, was directly involved in a hit and run with a pregnant lady, and he even fled the scene. Yeah, he was stripped of his light heavyweight title, but the UFC nor the NSAC truly reprimanded him. (But he was stripped of the title, you might say. Well, yeah, but that’s that. That was more of a publicity stunt to say, “See! We aren’t padding our pockets by protecting Jones!”
Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz fought back on January 31st. Post-fight drug results revealed the failed test for Diaz. Well, Silva was tested, too, and he popped for three different anabolic steroids. Hmm… he was only suspended a year that was retroactively made effective in January, which means he’ll be eligible to fight again come January 31, 2016. “But it was his first offense, Troy!” Three different roids? And, y’know, Silva lied about using them, before blaming the use on “sexual reasons”. Heh. Sure.
The NSAC has effectively retired Nick Diaz, and that sucks.
I won’t claim to be a big time Diaz fan. I’m not. However, he was involved in one of my all-time favorite fights with the Fireball Kid, Takaonori Gomi, from Pride 33 in February 2007. The upcoming 12 minutes and 25 seconds are absolutely worth your time:
Diaz didn’t just win vs. Gomi. No. Diaz starched the spirit out of him. The Fireball Kid was known for his outstanding powerful striking and do y’know what Diaz did? He outboxed Gomi with volume, a relentless barrage of precise punches, and Diaz left him stumbling and sucking air at the end of the first round.
In the second round, Diaz added insult to injury by luring Gomi into a submission that practically nobody ever uses in MMA: the gogoplata. It’s a choke that involves the shin bone and is considered, by most, to be pretty impractical compared to more run of the mill submissions like the arm bar, triangle choke, or the rear-naked choke. Diaz pulled it off, and he made it look easy.
I really hope this isn’t the end of Nick Diaz’s career. He’s been a major asset to the MMA world.