TUESDAY NEWS DIGEST: Nate Diaz “vaping” during UFC press conference, USADA says they are “aware of the situation,” Lesnar, Rumble-Jones

By Mike Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

Nate Diaz (artist Grant Gould © MMATorch)


Nate Diaz has made it clear that he is going to wait out a trilogy fight with Conor McGregor, and thanks to his words and actions at Saturday’s UFC 202 post fight press conference, he may be forced to wait until he fights again regardless of who is across the cage from him.

Diaz could be charged with a potential anti-doping violation after he was openly “vaping” during the press conference. When asked about it, Diaz said he was smoking CBD, one of the active ingredients in Cannabis.

CBD can have health benefits. Diaz claimed “It helps with the healing process and inflammation, stuff like that.” Despite this, CBD is illegal in the United States and is on the USADA banned substances list.

USADA is reportedly aware of the activity, and in a statement to MMAFighting.com, USADA confirmed that they are “aware of the situation” and are “gathering information in order to determine the next appropriate steps.”

While most UFC drug test failures under USADA would result in a two-year suspension for the fighter, a failure for CBD could result in a suspension of up to one year as a “specified substance.” It would also be within USADA’s power to not suspend Diaz at all.

There is a precedent for suspensions based on fighter’s volunteering information on substances they are using even if they don’t fail a drug test with Mirko Cro Cop and BJ Penn both suspended this year after disclosing use of banned substances. Diego Brandao was suspended after his January loss to Brian Ortega after testing positive for Marijuana.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: The Diaz brothers can’t seem to get out of their own way. If there is a suspension, it will likely be short and may not delay another McGregor fight by much if at all. USADA and the Nevada State Athletic Commision probably are not thrilled with the arrogance of using a banned substance openly in front of the press. You can argue the validity of marijuana or CBD as a banned substance, but Diaz should have known that it was on the banned list and not brought it to the press conference. It is worth saying that he was only seen using it after his fight with McGregor so any performance benefit is moot. With the circus that was Nick Diaz’ 5-year suspension last year, let’s hope that this goes away quietly as it probably should.


-Dana White told the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast that he is considering a fight between Anthony Johnson and Jon Jones should Jones be cleared to return soon in order to determine a number one contender for Daniel Cormier’s Light Heavyweight Championship.

-Brock Lesnar was officially issued a temporary suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission following his UFC 200 drug test failure. A formal hearing will be scheduled for a later date.

-Cody Garbrandt claimed in an interview on “The MMA Hour” that he sensed fear in Dominick Cruz during an altercation before Garbrandt’s KO win over Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 202.

-UFC fighter Li Jingliang has been notified of a potential USADA anti-doping policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition test preceding his July 8 win over Anton Zafir. Jingliang failed for clenbuterol, a drug known to have mild anabolic effects. He is temporarily suspended pending a future hearing.

-UFC 202 prelims did 1.3 million viewers down from 1.8 million for the first McGregor-Diaz fight

(MMATorch is introducing a Daily News Digest where with one click each day you can get the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Michael Hiscoe is a new MMATorch live events reporter and editorial columnist. He has written reviews for movie websites such as DVDTown.com and MovieMet.com in the past. He has been an avid follower of MMA for over 10 years and now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)

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