The hits just keep on coming for Strikeforce: "Carano vs. Cyborg" ... and punches are not scheduled to be thrown until this Saturday (Aug. 15) from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
Nick Diaz is the latest casualty of the cursed card, failing to appear for a mandatory random drug test requested by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) on Aug. 7 and again today (Aug. 10). Diaz -- who carries a medical marijuana card -- did not have enough time to flush the banned substance from his system prior to the test.
As a result, the Stockton, Calif., native was not issued a license to compete in the "Golden State" and will be unable to take on Jay Hieron for the promotion's first-ever welterweight title.
It's an odd turn of events that his his head trainer, Cesar Gracie, dazed and confused. He apparently had an informal agreement with former CSAC executive director Armando Garcia, which protected his fighter from such surprise tests.
Here's a snip from him in an MMAWeekly.com report:
"They changed it without any notification. No one had any time. The old guys were doing things based off of California law, and I knew California law didn’t change. He’s licensed ... it’s legal. They’re own legal team came out with a ruling that said (compassionate use was allowed). Then all of a sudden they’re saying we’re doing drug tests, and cannabis is included, it’s not just performance enhancers. To flush it out of his system, it takes 10 days, and we don’t have that."
With Diaz refusing to take the test because it more than likely would have resulted in a lengthy suspension, it opens the door for former contestant on Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 7, Jesse Taylor, to slide into the vacant spot opposite "The Thoroughbred." Hieron was actually filling in for a hospitalized Joe Riggs.
The new-look 170-pound match up will not be a title fight.
Taylor recently scored a win over Korean Judoka Dong Sik-Yoon at DREAM 10. "JT Money" dominated the action from the get-go before it was halted because of an injury — Sik-Yoon appeared to suffer a serious leg/foot injury while defending a takedown.
It was the seventh straight win for Taylor and his sixth in 2009 alone.
He’s certainly been a busy man since losing to CB Dollaway via submission (Peruvian Necktie) at UFC Fight Night 14 back in July 2008. And he appears to be keeping the pedal to the medal and looking to make it eight straight, seven this year, against Hieron this weekend.
Strikeforce: "Carano vs. Cyborg" will feature a 145-pound title fight between female fighting sensation Gina "Conviction" Carano and her nemesis Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, as well as a 205-pound championship showdown between company's light heavyweight belt keeper Renato "Babalu" Sobral and number one contender, Gegard "The Dreamcatcher" Mousasi.
For all the latest on the August 15 fight card click here.