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UFC 143's Nick Diaz tests positive for marijuana, what's next?

Former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz, who quickly established himself as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 170-pound number one contender upon his Octagon return in 2011, tested positive for marijuana following his UFC 143 loss to Carlos Condit back on Feb. 4 in Las Vegas.

For Diaz, the infraction marked the second time he's been popped for the green stuff in Nevada, having flunked his exam after strangling Takanori Gomi at PRIDE 33 nearly five years ago.

And let's not overlook the drug test he bailed on prior to his planned fight against Jay Hieron in California.

While Diaz has the right to appeal, he's expected to face a steep monetary fine, as well as a lengthy suspension that could last as long as one year.

Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) Executive Director Keith Kizer explains the next steps for Diaz (via SiriusXM Fight Club) after the jump.

"Mr. Diaz will receive the complaint. The complaints have been mailed to him. He'll receive the complaint by mail and he'll have 20 days upon receipt to file an answer. With the complaint, those are just allegations at this time. There's been no finding against him. He'll have ample opportunity to respond to the complaint and then we'd put it on for a hearing at a time that works for him as well as the Attorney General's office probably April based on past disciplinary complaints and at that time, there'll be a hearing before the full commission and then they make a decision at that time and if they found the athlete guilty, they'd then impose whatever discipline they felt was appropriate."

UFC President Dana White released a statement in the wake of the commission's findings, expressing his "disappointment" in the Stockton slugger's inability to play by the rules.

Diaz is not expected to be released based on this transgression, as ZUFFA chief Lorenzo Fertitta told Twitter followers he would be accepted back into the promotion after serving his time.

Anyone agree with that decision?

For more on the fallout from UFC 143: "Diaz vs. Condit" and the ensuing drug test fiasco click here, here and here.'s Brian Hemminger contributed to this report.

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