Nick Diaz’s settlement with NAC required admitting he “wrongfully invoked” fifth amendment during hearing

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Nick Diaz (artist Grant Gould © MMATorch)

Despite correctly invoking his fifth amendment right not to self-incriminate during his disciplinary hearing with the Nevada Athletic Commission, Nick Diaz was forced to “admit” that he used it incorrectly in order to get his settlement.

The terms of his settlement, which was accepted and enacted on Tuesday, have been released, and included was a letter signed by Diaz containing a passage where he admits to invoking it incorrectly, on advice of second counsel provided by the UFC.

“After conferring with new counsel,” Diaz wrote, “I determined that I wrongfully invoked Fifth Amendment in response to relevant questions posed by members of the Commission and that I should have, and would have, testified to the Commission that I did not use marijuana ‘in-competition,’ as that term is defined by the World Anti-Doping Agency (‘WADA’) in its Anti-Doping Code.”

According to Diaz’s attorney Lucas Middlebrook, in an interview with, it was that admission that was necessary for the settlement. Given the choice between maintaining that was the right thing to do and getting Diaz back in the cage, they took the option that cut the suspension down.

“It became apparent that the NAC wanted the Fifth Amendment issue as part of any negotiated settlement and therefore the choice was between lengthy litigation or having Nick resume his career this summer,” Middlebrook said. “While I, along with my team, still fully stand by Nick’s invocation of his Constitutional rights and maintain it was the right legal decision, our main focus was resuming Nick’s career. I truly hope moving forward that due process of the law is a reality and not just a legal catchphrase.”

Diaz’s settlement reduced his five year suspension to 18 months, but still fined him $100,000. Embedded below are copies of both Diaz’s letter and the settlement agreement:

Nick Diaz – Declaration in Support of Motion for Reconsideration (Final Filed)

Nick Diaz – Settlement Agreement (Final Filed)

Penick’s Analysis: They’re still getting six figures out of Diaz over a bungled hearing, and they went petty to make it happen without having to admit any wrongdoing whatsoever. I suppose good on them, but for Diaz clearly the important part was getting back into the cage and not sitting out half a decade.

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