NYSAC Clears Nate Diaz for UFC 244, Diaz Responds to USADA

Nate Diaz UFC 241
Nate Diaz, UFC 241 open workouts Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Nate Diaz has been cleared to compete at UFC 244 by the NYSAC.

“Now, we can move on.” That was Nate Diaz putting the entire UFC 244 doping fiasco behind him.

Where ever you stand on Diaz, one thing he is not is a pushover. So when it was suggested that he keep quiet following a positive drug test for LGD-4033 in the lead-up to UFC 244 this weekend, he did the exact opposite. In true Diaz fashion, he aired his grievances with being labelled a cheater publicly, and loudly. Demanded an apology, or you could be damn sure he wasn’t about to fight.

He got exactly what he wanted in the end. While the process was far from pretty, fans get what they want, Diaz got what he wants. The UFC got what they so desperately needed, a red-hot main event for a New York card that lacks a single title fight or suitable fill-in for Diaz vs. Jorge Masvidal.

The last hurdle in the case, after Diaz was exonerated by USADA, was the New York State Athletic Commission, who fell in line Monday. “Based on the full lab and medical analyses provided by USADA and reviewed by the commission, Nate Diaz is not disqualified from participating in the upcoming UFC 244 event,” commission spokesperson Mercedes Padilla told ESPN in a statement. “As with all fighters proposed for the UFC 244 event, the New York State Athletic Commission licensing process continues through the weigh-in and pre-fight physical.”

USADA determined that the source of LGD-4033 in the Diaz case was a contaminated “organic, vegan, plant-based, daily multivitamin.” Diaz isn’t buying that. On a media call Monday (h/t ESPN), Diaz responded by saying that “I don’t believe them anyway. It’s just a whole bunch of natural sh*t I use. I don’t know. It’s a conspiracy.”

Diaz, for one, had no problem putting the fight on hold. “So let’s just say I did accidentally take some sh*t, which I didn’t. Let’s just say I did, though. Well then let’s just f*cking fight in a couple of months when the sh*t wears off. I have no problem with that. I don’t care if it ruins the show. You ain’t ruining my whole legacy.”

In the end, it didn’t come to that. Although Diaz remains skeptical of the entire situation. “They had it out for my brother [Nick] for a long time,” he claimed. “They had it out for me for a long time. As soon as they could get me out, they could. As soon as they could get him out, they could. I do not believe a second of any of it.”

Whether he believes it or not, however, the fight is a go, which is almost certainly what the UFC wanted all along. Whether the process ever needed to be so convoluted is another matter, but that question can come after the dust settles in NYC.