The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has fined and suspended lightweight Nate Diaz for his controversial Twitter message on Thursday (May 16, 2013) afternoon, which featured a derogatory slur directed at bantamweight fighter Bryan Caraway.
The fine comes in the amount of $20,000 and Diaz will be forced to serve a 90-day suspension, according to a press release from UFC officials.
"UFC lightweight Nate Diaz has received an immediate 90-day suspension and $20,000 fine for violating the UFC's fighter code of conduct," said the statement posted on the UFC's official website on Friday (May 17, 2013). "The language used in his tweet was regrettable, offensive and inconsistent with the values and culture of the organization, and is not tolerated."
The incident was sparked when Diaz sent out an offensive tweet directed at Caraway for "taking" the $65,000 UFC 159 "Submission of the Night" bonus Pat Healy lost when he tested positive for marijuana earlier this week.
The derogatory term used in the message immediately sparked controversy throughout the mixed martial arts (MMA) community and shortly after UFC officials announced Diaz's actions were not tolerable and he was suspended pending an investigation.
UFC President Dana White then announced a clearer punishment was on it's way.
"We are going to fine, suspend or cut him. One or two of those three will happen," White stated on Thursday evening.
Mike Kogan, manager of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 5 winner, issued a statement attempting to defend his client's actions; however, it apparently fell on deaf ears as Diaz received a three-month suspension and as well as a significant fine.
Diaz is the second fighter to violent the UFC's Code of Conduct policy since it was released to the public last April, joining Matt Mitrione, who was also suspended and fined for making controversial comments about transgender fighter Fallon Fox.
While not confirmed, it is likely that Diaz's suspension will be proactive from the day of incident, meaning he will be eligible for competition again as of Aug. 15, 2013.
According to the release, the money from the fine will be donated to an unnamed charity.