The NSAC may have resurrected Nick Diaz’s MMA career.

Deciding unanimously last Tuesday, the Nevada State Athletic Commision approved a settlement that would shorten the suspension of UFC fighter Nick Diaz to 18 months and reduced his fine to $100K.

An Overkill

Diaz failed a drug test in connection with his UFC 183 bout against  Anderson Silva. It marked the third time in his career Diaz tested positive for marijuana. Because he was a repeat offender, he was handed a severe five year suspension plus a $165K fine that virtually put an end to his MMA career.

There was public outcry on the verdict and it even led to a White House Petition where more than 100K signatures demanded a review of the suspension. The electronic petition didn’t interfere with the NSAC’s jurisdiction, but it was a clear sign that the rest of the world felt that the punishment was an “overkill”.

A New Settlement

Under the settlement, Diaz was ordered to pay his fine 30 days before his next bout or December 1, 2016 whichever comes first. He was also ordered to apply for a license at least 30 days before his next fight. Additionally, Diaz is being required to submit urine tests 30, 15 and 3 days before the fight. The samples must pass both in-competition and out-of-competition drug testing. Should one of the test come out positive, the NSAC will penalize him once again. The parties also agreed to split the court costs arising from the settlement and to waive their rights to sue each other or appeal the settlement in higher courts.

Back At The Right Time

With this development, Diaz is now eligible to fight again on August 1st, 2016 since the suspension retroacts to the date of his last fight which was on January 31st, 2015. His early reinstatement comes at a right time when former champions like Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn are eyeing comebacks. Diaz fought St. Pierre in one of the sport’s biggest bouts in 2013 while he beat Penn during his UFC debut at UFC 137 in 2011. There are even rumors saying that UFC President Dana White is entertaining a Nick Diaz rematch with current UFC Welterweight champion Robbie Lawler. With these and other possible big fight at hand, Diaz’s early release may have come at the perfect time for him to revive his career.

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