Nick and Nate Diaz are arguably the two most polarizing fighters in Mixed Martial Arts today. Their defiance of nearly every protocol that fighters must adhere to has literally endeared them to a huge portion of the MMA fanbase. They also have their fair share of detractors, and let’s be honest, they could care less.
But there are also neutral parties that do not necessarily care who Nick and Nate are; just as long as you follow the rules, all will be well. Such is the case with USADA and Nick Diaz.
Part of being enrolled in the USADA testing pool is to always update the agency on your whereabouts. In order to be randomly tested, to prove you are clean fighter, they have to know where you are at all times. They show up, test you, off they go. If you’re clean, you fight. If you’re not, you are flagged.
Earlier this week, Nick Diaz was suspended by USADA for not informing them of his whereabouts three times in the span of 365 days.
I’m a firm believer that other than marijuana metabolites potentially being high in his body (no pun intended), Nick is a clean fighter. He, Nate and Cesar Gracie have long rallied against fighters who use performance enhancing drugs, calling some out while shouting off their own soapboxes that they, personally, are clean.
From a personal perspective, having spoken and been around both fighters on various occasions, while also having mutual friends who know them on a personal level, I remain steadfast that Nick (and Nate) are clean. That’s not the problem.
The issue is that they don’t operate on the same frequency as others and generally do not follow rules outside of their personal circle. They are freebirds, do things at their own pace and are unpredictable.
The irony of USADA’s “where you at” policy is that Nick likely doesn’t even know where he will be today. Forget about tomorrow and next week. Ask anyone who has ever trained with the Diaz brothers and you’ll know after day one that you show up with a backpack, filled with your gear and be ready for the unpredictable.
Cause if Nick decides to go for a run, even though it’s supposed to be a BJJ session, you are going for a run. Or a long bike ride. Or if it’s the day you are going for a run, nope, it’s boxing session. Or Jits.
So while Nick operates to the beat of his own drum, an unpredictable rhythm that suits his soul, USADA’s is different. It’s methodical and on a loop with the same beat every four bars.
Can one make the argument that Diaz purposely avoided USADA? Sure, why not. Can we say he may have been high, or didn’t have time to flush his system? Sure. Ok. Can we also say he could care less about updating them cause to him, it’s a massive hassle? More than likely.
But the problem with all this is that whether Nick did it on purpose, by accident or whatever, we likely won’t see him compete in MMA (again) anytime soon.
Love him or hate him, he brings an incredible amount of attention to his fights. From pre-fight antics and natural smack talk to his fighting acumen, eyeballs are always fixated on the Stockton native.
People want to see him win, because they can relate to the anti-establishment stance he takes. Others want to see him lose, as they find him rude and disrespectful. But unfortunately, neither side will get to see him fight this year … or dare I say it, ever again.