Alert fans on the UG noticed that the UFC was promoting Alistair Overeem's return to the Octagon, but was silent on Nick Diaz.
Both Alistair Overeem and Nick Diaz are currently under suspensions issued by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). Overeem's was for a positive test for elevated testosterone at a surprise test, while Diaz tested for elevated marijuana metabolites, for the second time. Both fighters appeared before the commission to plead their case.
Overeem was apologetic and concilliatory before the board, while Nick Diaz was, well, more Nick Diaz. Since the initial hearing Overeem has voluntarily had himself tested, while the Diaz camp filed suit over the suspension.
The UFC has been granted permission to promote 'Reem's fight with Bigfoot in Feb (although the Dutchman still has to apply for a license). On the return of Nick Diaz, the company has been silent.
UFC President Dana White offered some explanation for the promotion of Overeem at the UFC 154 post-fight press con.
"We asked the commission, can we start setting up a fight for him," said White, who added "but he’s still got to go before the commission."
"I think Alistair has been doing the right thing as far as the commission is concerned and doing all the things that he needs to do to get back in their good graces. It’s looking positive and optimistic because he’s been doing what he’s supposed to do."
Would it work the same way for Diaz White was asked?
"Nope," he replied bluntly.
White did not say whether or not they had even requested permission from the NSAC to promote Diaz's return bout, but it looks like we will be hearing about that after his suspension is lifted on February 4, 2013.
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In good news, during an interview with MMAJunkie's Steven Marrocco, NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer said the UFC can promote both Overeem or Diaz, with caveats.
The UFC can promote Alistair Overeem and Nick Diaz for bouts next year "as long as Zuffa makes quite clear that there's an added piece to that puzzle," said Kizer today.
In Overeem's case, that means getting a license to fight in Nevada. For Diaz, it's scheduling him after his suspension ends.
Kizer said that the commission doesn't have an issue with booking Diaz as long as the fight isn't within the term of his suspension.
"As long as the fight was after the suspension ended, there wouldn't be a problem with that," he said. "But obviously a fighter fighting while on suspension somewhere else, I wouldn't approve the fight."
Kizer also noted that all 2012 Nevada licensees, including Diaz, will need to reapply in 2013. Because Diaz has twice been suspended for marijuana, he will need to appear before the commission before being licensed in the state.
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