Report: Public pressure, death threats pushed NAC to settlement talks in Nick Diaz suspension case

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Nick Diaz (artist Grant Gould © MMATorch)

The public outcry over the Nevada Athletic Commission’s handling of Nick Diaz’s disciplinary hearing, not to mention the five year suspension they handed down over a dubious marijuana test result, may be the leading factor in getting it reduced, according to attorney Amy Dardashtian on Friday’s Inside MMA program on AXS TV.

Dardashtian, who earlier in the week commented that the settlement talks between Diaz’s attorneys and the NAC could bring him back to the cage as early as 2016, stated on Friday’s broadcast that the commission is reacting to significant pressure from the public. Additionally, she cites sources claiming that the attorney general will recommend them accepting a settlement to avoid litigation, which could be costly as Diaz’s case for appeal is strong.

“Multiple sources are telling us that basically public pressure got to this commission with at least one of the commission members receiving death threats,” Dardasthian claimed.

According to Dardashtian, Diaz’s attorneys are attempting to negotiate an 18-month to two year suspension rather than five years, dating back to the date of UFC 183, January 31 of this year. 18 months would make Diaz eligible to return by August of 2016.

Penick’s Analysis: I’d be curious to know whether they’d still be able to fight this in court even with a settlement on the terms of the suspension itself, because they do have a claim that the “failed” test should be thrown out given the positive tests in close proximity before and after that were tested at a different lab. The anomalous result is the one the commission decided to grasp onto in order to fit their narrative, and Diaz’s team may still have a case there. Regardless, it’s clear they screwed up greatly with what they initially handed down, and now they have until early November to issue the written decision regarding his discipline, so they can still adjust that despite what was voted upon during that meeting last month.

[Nick Diaz art by Grant Gould (c)]

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