Nick Diaz, along with his brother Nate Diaz, has a reputation as one of the toughest and strongest fighters dominating the UFC today. Nick is currently undergoing a lengthy suspension from fighting due to a drug violation in early 2015. His brother Nate continues to fight, and Nick is always by his side, aiding to the families image as constantly angry, combative, disrespectful, and unprofessional fighters. Every time either of them step into the octagon it becomes a big deal, either because of what they said at the pre-fight press conference, or because they didn’t bother showing up in the first place.
Although Nate is the brother currently making headlines after defeating Conor McGregor at UFC 196 on March 5, 2016, Nick Diaz has the more interesting story the deeper you look into it. Both brothers are fierce competitors in the ring with firecracker personalities out of it, but Nick’s life has taken more noteworthy turns than his more presently newsworthy little brother. Read on to learn 10 facts about Nick Diaz that could damage his and his brother’s perception as two of UFC’s resident bad boys.
10. He Was The Subject of a White House Petition
Many people within UFC and the MMA community at large feel the Diaz Brothers have shown a consistent pattern of disrespect towards their opponents and the institution in general. It’s understandable they feel this way about Nick, who gives his opponents the middle finger and attacks them after matches are declared over, but his suspension from UFC enforced by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in 2015 had nothing to do with his combative personality. In fact, many feel like his suspension had nothing to do with UFC in the slightest, which is in part why at least 100,000 people signed a petition submitted to whitehouse.gov in an attempt to have that suspension lifted. While enough people signed the petition that the White House gave an official response, unfortunately for Diaz, the response was that this wasn’t exactly something the White House had any control over, since state governments control athletic commissions, not federal. So, what got the pugnacious pugilist in trouble with the law in the first place?
9. He’s Always Smoked Weed
Nick Diaz has actually been suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission at least three times in recent years, all due to failing drug tests after testing positive for marijuana. The first incident was April 10, 2007, and lead to a victory being ruled a no contest. He was suspended again on February 4, 2012, after a loss to Carlos Condit. The latest suspension was made official September 14, 2015, and initially was set to last 5 years, before backlash from the White House petition and other litigation lead to the suspension being reduced to 18 months. Throughout all of his suspensions, Diaz has dismissed the notion marijuana is a performance-enhancing drug, and shows no indication of cutting back or quitting his habit in order to get back to work. In fact…
8. He Smokes Weed All Day Long
Nick Diaz doesn’t just smoke a little bit of weed now and again, he is by all accounts a wake and baker who keeps the party going until he needs a nightcap. Interviewed by High Times magazine in February of 2016, Diaz said: “If I’m at home and I’m training—doing my same things every day—then I’m definitely going to want to use cannabis. It’s gonna help.” He went into further detail by saying, “If I’m going to train all day, when I get done, I’m gonna want to smoke. If I have to go and train all day, before I go, I’m gonna want to smoke. If I wake up in the morning and feel beat to s***, and it’s going to take me forever to wake up, I smoke some weed and I wake right up.” Most people who smoke weed 24/7 don’t also constantly get into fights, let alone win them, but clearly Nick Diaz isn’t most people. And yet, despite his incredible marijuana habit…
7. He Thinks His Suspensions Were Rigged
Initially, after each of his suspensions, Nick Diaz reacted the way that would probably be expected: he was furious. With UFC, with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, with Dana White, with his opponents, and even the reporters who were bothering him about how it made him feel. Especially given the severity of his latest 5-year sentence, many people felt it had nothing to due with Diaz or even his personality in particular, but rather the Athletic Commission attempting to make a statement about their feelings towards marijuana laws. With this in mind, Diaz eventually came to the conclusion the test was seriously rigged to prove he was smoking way more than he was, claiming he passed an initial drug test, so the Commission made him take another drug test five days later, which showed seven times the levels of marijuana as the first test, despite what he said was absolutely no change in his personal habits. It really shouldn’t matter in the first place, because…
6. He’s A Medicinal User
Nick Diaz, like most athletes, and especially MMA fighters, goes through more pain on a daily basis than most people who work in the every day office. Some athletes choose to alleviate their pain with illegal drugs or prescription grade painkillers, but Diaz is a resident of California, and therefore he is a medicinal marijuana user. Diaz and the Nevada State Athletic Commission can argue back and forth about just how much weed Diaz smoked on the day of the fight, but the fact remains, he was legally within his rights to do so. Whether or not marijuana is a performance-enhancing drug remains heavily under debate, and UFC is allowed to make whatever rule they see fit in regard to what their employees can and can’t do. However, none of Diaz’s suspensions should be viewed as related to his image as a hotheaded semi-criminal looking for a fight. For something that should be viewed as an issue and wasn’t, though…
5. He’s Received Multiple DUIs and UFC Didn’t Care
The debate is still open on marijuana as a performance-enhancing drug, but no one is debating on the kind of person who receives a DUI. Diaz has twice been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol; first in 2013 and again in 2014. Not only was Diaz caught driving drunk, but the first time around he missed several court dates in relation to the case and nearly made things much worse for himself. Due to the closeness of the two incidents, Diaz was able to have the majority of his charges dropped by agreeing to a plea bargain that saw him plead no contest to one count of DUI. Diaz served two days in jail for the reckless and dangerous act, and the UFC…didn’t really seem to care. The story barely even hit a dent in the news, which was far more focused on his marijuana case.
4. He’s A Vegan
Most people probably don’t view UFC fighters as constantly hitting the bong, and they probably don’t see the intensely jacked, buff fighters as animal loving vegans, either. It has more to do with diet than a love of animals, but the brothers do indeed describe themselves as raw food vegans, and claim they’ve been so since their teens. The exact specifics of their diets have been debated, but Nick in particular publicly touted this family fact on Twitter in a bragging manner as recently as March of 2016. After his brother Nate’s victory at UFC 196, Nick Diaz made several tweets directed towards Nate’s opponent Conor McGregor and UFC commentator Joe Rogan, mocking McGregor for getting his “ass kicked by a vegan.” Rogan has been critical of the vegan lifestyle, questioning whether or not athletes can perform on a high level without eating meat. The Diaz brothers should answer his question.
3. He Calls Himself Nonviolent
Nick Diaz is not only a professional fighter, but he’s a professional fighter who has challenged his opponents in public countless times, sometimes immediately following a professional fight in the ring. Somehow, in light of this information, he still refers to himself as “a nonviolent person.” Speaking with High Times, Diaz said he only fights in response to a world out to get him, and feels like he has no other option than to constantly train and fight those who stand in the way of his happiness. Like with many men, that happiness includes relationships with women, and he says he’s constantly been getting in fights with other men over the ladies in his life since he was in grade school. We think fighting goes both ways, and this doesn’t sound very nonviolent to us, but it does bring up an interesting point in who one of those ladies in his life is…
2. He Lived With Ronda Rousey
Plenty of fans spoke out in support of Nick Diaz following his latest suspension, and that included a variety of other celebrities and athletes. Most notable amongst them was UFC megastar Ronda Rousey. Rousey is a good friend of both Diaz brothers, and they have all trained together significantly throughout their careers. Ronda even lived with the elder brother at an unspecified time. In addition to Rousey speaking out on Diaz’s behalf after his suspension, Diaz became one of the first people in UFC to support Rousey after the end of her undefeated streak with her loss to Holly Holm in November of 2015.
1. He’s Only In It For The Money
Nick Diaz truly seems like a person who lives for the fight, and it’s possible he may never stop fighting in certain respects. However, it’s pretty clear that he will one day stop fighting for the public to view, and it could be sometime soon. Despite all the posturing and threatening and constantly antagonizing and inciting his opponents, despite claiming he needs to fight through his nonviolence, despite claiming he’s out to prove to everyone he’s the best fighter in the world, for Nick Diaz, like with nearly every other professional in the world out there, it really all comes down to the money. In Nick’s own words, quoted February 17, 2016: “The second that I’m not getting paid more money than I got paid in my last fight, I’m done. I mean, I quit.” Maybe Nick Diaz is a bad boy pot smoker who will fight until the day he dies. Or maybe he just understands cultivating an image of himself as that person will make more people watch him fight.