Nick Diaz is not going down easy. The former Strikeforce welterweight champion has been idle since February and under suspension by the NSAC. The layoff has been long enough for Diaz and he is willing to sue his way back into the UFC octagon.
Diaz filed suit yesterday against the Nevada State Athletic Commission in what could turn out to be a ground breaking legal decision if the law finds in Diaz’s favor. If Diaz is victorious in his conquest, it could alter the authority the NSAC has over temporarily suspending fighters and how quickly they are due their day in court.
Diaz would like injunctive relief on two issues, meaning he wants his suspension lifted immediately. The third issue is that Diaz believes he did not have due process rights and this was violated by the NSAC not giving Diaz both injunctive and declaratory relief. So what does this all mean?
The first issue is that Diaz believes the NSAC violated the statutory code NRS 23B which requires the commission to determine the outcome of a proceeding related to suspension within 45 days of the date of the suspension. 45 days have passed and there is no hearing scheduled. According to Diaz’s team, his license has been indefinitely suspended without actually being found guilty of anything as a result of a hearing.
Statute NRS 467.117 has also been violated according to the lawsuit. The gist of this one is that Diaz’s temporary suspension is illegal “because no basis has been established that demonstrates suspending Diaz was done as a matter of preserving public health.”
Diaz is hoping that these statute violations will allow him to walk without any further proceedings back inside the octagon. The court will have to ask whether Diaz was suspended illegally in the first place and if by the NSAC not acting in 45 days is in fact cause to dismiss the case against Diaz.
Diaz has also officially ended his retirement. Check out this interesting nugget from the lawsuit.
“On February 7th, 2012, the UFC’s President publicly announced that Mr. Condit agreed to an immediate rematch against me. It is my understanding that the winner of that rematch will be offered a contest against Georges St-Pierre, the current UFC welterweight champion. The summary suspension against me, made without any consideration of the merits of the Complaint, is the only reason I am aware of that a rematch against Mr Condit has not been scheduled. If the summary suspension is set aside, I would be prepared to compete against Mr. Condit or against any other opponent deemed suitable immediately.”
According to Dave Meltzer, Diaz has a hearing scheduled on May 14 seeking a preliminary injunction that would more or less lift his suspension and allow him to fight. This explains why Carlos Condit has remained idle since winning the interim UFC welterweight title from Diaz back in February. I never understood what the point was of having an interim champion if that champion was just going to sit and wait for the real champion to return and fight.
The risk here for Diaz is that if he loses the case, he is going to make a lot of people angry on the NSAC. That could come back to haunt him if the time comes for Diaz if he has his day in court.