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Nate Diaz admits USADA debacle was ‘making me lose sleep’ ahead of UFC 244

As one of the “Baddest Motherf—kers” in today’s MMA, most things don’t seem to bother Nate Diaz. Even headlining a massive pay-per-view (PPV) event this weekend in New York City opposite Jorge Masvidal doesn’t give the Stockton native much cause for concern.

But when it comes to his legacy in the sport and his image as a clean fighter, Diaz will stop at nothing to prove his innocence. This played out last week when Diaz revealed that United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed the welterweight fighter of a failed drug test for a SARM ahead of his clash with Masvidal. Instead of doing what most fighters do and keeping things on the down low until after his scheduled bout, Diaz informed the MMA masses of the botched test and pulled himself off the UFC 244 card.

Some thought Diaz’s decision was premature, but it was his best course of action to prove he did nothing wrong by forcing USADA and UFC to dig deeper into the situation. Luckily, it all paid off, as Diaz was cleared by USADA just two days later and given the green light to step inside of the cage at UFC 244 as a clean fighter.

Diaz spoke to reporters at UFC 244’s media day earlier this week and explained his initial reaction to the failed drug test.

“This is warfare,” said Diaz. “For one, they called me telling me I was on (expletive). They’re telling me all this ‘you’re on drugs’ (expletive), and I’m like, ‘Hold up, no I’m not on drugs, so fix your tests.’ You know what I’m saying? So I continued to take my supplements, which are Whole Foods supplements. I only eat out the garden, you know what I’m saying.”

Diaz, who has never failed a drug test in his professional career, was more than willing to sit out of his “BMF” title fight for as long as it took USADA to clear his name. He also felt obligated to make his initial test results public so all other parties involved in UFC 244 could go to sleep with the same anxiety and uncertainty that he was.

“Then when they do that, I’m like, ‘You’re (expletive) up my whole (expletive), what I believe in, and it’s making me lose sleep at night.’ So I’m like, ‘You know what? This is war, and this ain’t fair,’” Diaz said. “I’m not sleeping; the UFC’s sleeping. Jorge Masvidal is sleeping. I’m like, ‘How about (expletive) all you guys, ain’t no one sleeping. Fights off. Now no one can sleep,’ and I was in bed smiling. It evened things out a little bit, and it’s what’s real.”

Diaz’s failed drug test was eventually traced back to a plant-based multivitamin containing trace amounts of LGD-4033. USADA not only found Diaz innocent in the consumption of the banned substance but also proved that the trace amounts in his system had zero performance-enhancing effects.

“Now look, they flipped their (expletive), got it together and there was nothing wrong in the first place, so why did you guys try and (expletive) with me to begin with?” Diaz said.

UFC 244 will go down tomorrow night (Sat., Nov. 2, 2019) live on ESPN+ PPV from inside Madison Square Garden in New York City, with Diaz vs. Masvidal serving as the main attraction. The winner will be awarded the “BMF” title and take home bragging rights for one of the biggest fights of the year. will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 244 fight card below, starting with the ESPN+/ESPN2 “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

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