Oct. 29, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Nick Diaz celebrates after defeating B.J. Penn (not pictured) during a welterweight bout during UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Like Yogi Berra once said, it ain't over 'til it's over.
Now that his official hearing is (finally) in the books, former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz has been suspended for 12 months and fined 30 percent of his purse after testing positive for marijuana metabolites at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 143 pay-per-view (PPV) event back on Feb. 4, 2012, in Las Vegas.
But his fight with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) may not be over just yet.
That's because his attorney, Ross Goodman, may be asked to challenge the commission's ruling by filing a petition for judicial review in front of a district court judge, based on the "alarming" jump to conclusions from "unprepared" commissioners at last Tuesday's (May 21) disciplinary hearing.
MMA Fighting has Goodman's reaction (after the jump).
"It was clear by their questioning that their decision was already made up. In my closing argument I basically reminded 'Skip' Avansino, who is the chairman [of the NSAC], that in the TUE hearing that occurred before us [with UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen] he said 'the presence of a prohibited substance would constitute a violation.' Those were his words. The chairman of the commission. All you have to do is look at the ruling and tell me where it says that Nick tested for the presence of marijuana. Because he didn't. And if you're saying 'the presence of a prohibited substance would constitute a violation' then you have to show me where in the rules marijuana metabolite is a prohibited substance. They never answered that. They never responded to that. They just made up a rule. They read the rule in there. It was like on an ad hoc basis. Effectively what they did was punish him for legally consuming marijuana more than a week before the fight and then having an inactive component sequestered in his fat tissue after the fight. It was clear that the commissioners didn't really prepare for the hearing. It was really alarming, the fact that something so basic, so clear, which is that marijuana in general is allowed out of competition but not in competition. To kick off the hearing suggesting there is no distinction indicated what was to come after that."
Diaz, who lost a five round unanimous decision to Carlos Condit at UFC 143 earlier this year before landing in hot water, is no stranger to the NSAC enforcers, having also flunked a marijuana test in the state of Nevada after his thrilling submission victory over .
He was suspended six months and fined 20 percent of his purse for that first offense.
Naturally, Diaz's head coach, Cesar Gracie, was not too happy with the way his star pupil, who has a medical marijuana prescription for ADHD in the state of California, has been treated since coming over to the UFC.
Stay tuned -- this one may not be going away anytime soon.
For more on this week's fight between Diaz and the NSAC click here.