The legendary former Strikeforce welterweight champion has been given the all-clear to resume his MMA career after accepting a one-year USADA ban.
In a time where the UFC’s well of starpower seems to be running at an all-time low, could one of the answers to the dip in pay-per-view interest lie in the hands of one of its long-absent icons?
Well, it’s hard to know on that front, to be honest. But for what it’s worth, Nick Diaz has once again been cleared to fight by USADA following a whereabouts violation last year. Diaz had repeatedly made himself unavailable to the anti-doping agency for out-of-competition testing whilst in their testing pool and as a result was handed the ban which came directly after his own controversial sanctioning after testing positive for marijuana following his last octagon outing.
In 2015, Nick faced off against Anderson Silva in what would be his final appearance in the UFC to date and while it was the Brazilian who came away with the unanimous decision on the night, it was an entertaining, but slightly strange encounter, all things considered.
Who knows if Diaz is committed to fighting again. We’ve seen his brother Nate achieve a remarkable level of superstardom in his absence and even he doesn’t seem to be jumping at the gun to get back into the octagon.
We all know exactly how exhilarating a fighter Nick is on his day, though, and while it may still be unlikely that he comes back any time soon, the door as now well and truly open for Stockton’s finest to step back through.
USADA’s full statement can be viewed here.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena