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Nick Diaz: How Short is his Leash?

Say everything goes as planned on March 16, 2012 for Georges St. Pierre. Let’s say he is able to take Nick Diaz down at will and beats him down at UFC 158. Maybe he even gets a stoppage for the first time since 2009.

Fast forward to a few weeks after the bout. Let’s say the drug test results are in and Diaz has once again popped positive for marijuana. Would anyone be surprised? I doubt it. And furthermore, I wouldn’t be surprised if Diaz is truly one failed drug test away from a pink slip from the UFC.

The UFC is downsizing. They’ve cut expensive fighters who are liabilities. Guys like Jon Fitch, who made about $66,000 to show and $66,000 to win have been deemed expendable because of their liabilities. For Fitch, his liability was his entertainment value. He was incredibly boring.

Diaz has a few liabilities of his own. He is exciting for sure, unlike Fitch. But, he is also a hothead who has ruined events in the past. He embarrassed the UFC when they were forced to replace Diaz with Carlos Condit before UFC 137. Just today he skipped the open workouts for UFC 158.  He has also tested positive for marijuana twice, most recently after UFC 143 and he was suspended for 12 months afterwards.

Now on the surface drug tests are never a deal breaker. Very few even view marijuana as a true performance-enhancing drug. We’ve also seen plenty of fighters with multiple failed tests kept on the UFC roster. Nate Marquardt is fighting on the same card and has been popped for performance enhancing drugs twice.  There is a big difference between the Marquardt and Diaz though: money

Diaz makes $200,000 to show and $200,000 to win. That is one of the largest salaries in all of the UFC. The UFC has shown that if they are going to pay you a lot of money, you better cross your T’s and dot your I’s. Fitch also made a lot of money but made himself expendable. Similarly, Diaz is on shorter leash in terms of mistakes. If he messes up again, I don’t expect him to be on the UFC roster very much longer.

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