Strikeforce announced yesterday that Jesse Taylor will fight Jay Hieron at this weekend’s “Carano vs. Cyborg” event, replacing promotional star Nick Diaz, who will not be licensed for the bout.
After missing a pre-fight drug screening on Friday, one Diaz was required to attend in order to have his California State Athletic Commission license renewed, the fighter also missed a “second chance” test on Monday. With the possibility of Diaz being licensed in time for this weekend’s fight now eliminated, Strikeforce had no choice but to remove Diaz from the card.
Strikeforce’s Scott Coker purchased Nick Diaz a plane ticket to make the Monday testing, so one would assume his failure to attend will create heat between Diaz and the promotion. Prior to Diaz’s no-show on Monday, Coker had already said he and the fighter would need to have a talk regarding his future, according to F4WOnline.com.
CSAC rules mandate that when a fighter applies for a license renewal–Diaz’s license to fight in the state expired earlier this summer–he must be clean of any specific drugs for which he tested positive in his career. Having tested positive for marijuana after his acclaimed fight with Takanori Gomi in 2007, Diaz was required by commission rules to test negative for the drug before receiving permission to fight.
Though no one from Diaz’s camp has specifically commented on Monday’s no-show, the word from his side is reportedly that Diaz and former CSAC head Armando Garcia had worked out an arrangement in which Diaz would only be tested for marijuana on fight day. Diaz has a medical marijuana license, and his camp thus contends that he should not be penalized for out-of-competition use.
The CSAC, however, cannot confirm that deal and said that it would not matter anyway, as Garcia is no longer part of the CSAC (nor would agreements that are in “direct contradiction” to the commission’s rules be upheld). According to California doctrine, while Diaz cannot be criminally punished for his marijuana use, administrative action–such as not letting him fight–is perfectly acceptable.
Because Diaz is not licensed by the state, his failure to show up for the test cannot result in any sort of suspension or sanctioning. Nonetheless, it adds further heat to his name in the industry, and likely assures that he will receive the maximum possible out-of-competition drug testing by the state of California.