While the UNITE HERE Culinary Union 226 has long been an opponent of Zuffa owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, and have been behind several campaigns to smear the UFC to keep it out of New York, they’re throwing their weight behind suspended UFC fighter Nick Diaz.
Along with the Teamsters Local 986 in Las Vegas, they’ve sent a lengthy letter to Nevada governor Brian Sandoval outlying the issues in the Nevada Athletic Commission’s handling of Diaz’s disciplinary hearing. That hearing resulted in a five-year suspension, which has led to significant outcry against the commission.
“The Commission’s unfair decision against Mr. Diaz demonstrates an arbitrary selection of facts, is inconsistent with the Commission’s own policy, and endangers the reputation of the sport of MMA and the tourism industry in Nevada,” they argued. “We urge you to (1) explore all available options to mitigate the unfair discipline against Mr. Diaz, (2) conduct an immediate review of the Commission’s policies and procedures, and (3) appoint a Commissioner with a medical background to provide the Commission with expertise it is currently lacking.
You can read the full letter embedded below:
Penick’s Analysis: Sandoval has already taken a head-in-the-sand approach to this issue, saying he doesn’t second guess individual decisions, but if the unions here have any pull, perhaps there will be a second look. The arguments they lay out are in line with the heavy criticisms that have been laid out against the commission elsewhere, and it makes a clear case for why this suspension shouldn’t be allowed to stand. There still may not be anything more coming from the governor’s office, but the Diaz case continues to garner support.
[Nick Diaz art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]