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Author: Michael Zand


State of Nevada Rebuts Nick Diaz Lawsuit


Last Tuesday, UFC welterweight Nick Diaz filed a lawsuit against the Nevada state athletic commission, claiming that the state regulation agency violated his right to due process by declining to grant him a hearing on the status of his fighter's license within 45 days of his suspension.

According to the state of Nevada's office of the attorney general, the legal move is misguided. That is because Diaz's legal team, headed by Ross C. Goodman, cited a "summary suspension" of Diaz's license in his court filing. According to Nevada's state codes, a summary suspension can be ordered if an agency finds that "public health, safety or welfare imperatively require emergency action."

But in a written response from Nevada attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto to Goodman and forwarded to MMA Fighting, the state of Nevada asserts that Diaz's legal team misunderstood the suspension.

"No Notice of Summary Suspension was ever served on your client," Masto wrote. "In this matter, Mr. Diaz was properly served with a 'Notice of Hearing on Temporary Suspension' and he failed to appear at the hearing. The Commission temporarily suspended Mr. Diaz’s license at the hearing. Neither Mr. Diaz nor you objected in any manner to the temporary suspension."

The letter effectively indicates that because Diaz was not given a "summary suspension," his case does not fall under Nevada code NRS 233B.127, which requires a hearing within 45 days. A separate code, NRS 467.117, indicates that the commission can " continue the suspension until it makes a final determination of any disciplinary action to be taken against the licensee or holder of the permit."

The letter also indicates that the NSAC delay in scheduling Diaz's hearing was partially his fault, caused while waiting for him to produce his medical marijuana card.

"I've waited for more than a month for the card," Masto wrote.

Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites on February 4, shortly after losing a UFC 143 match against Carlos Condit. On a pre-fight medical questionnaire, he denied taking any "prescribed medications" in the last two weeks.

On April 4, Nevada sent Goodman a letter asking him to produce Diaz's medical marijuana card. Goodman later produced a letter from Diaz's doctor, Robert E. Sullivan, who said he had first issued a physician's statement in June 2009 which noted that Diaz had a 'serious medical condition" which would, in his professional opinion, "benefit from the use of medical cannabis." He issued a follow-up statement on Feb. 28, 2012, re-affirming the same.

The Nevada attorney general's office said that they are moving forward with their complaint against Diaz, and that they would still attempt to hold a disciplinary hearing on the matter.

Meanwhile, Nevada's Clark County District Court has set a May 14 hearing at 10:30 am on Goodman's request for an injunction against the suspension on Diaz's license.

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“The Dragon” returns: Lyoto Machida Vs. Ryan Bader set for UFC on FOX 4!

Just announced on the UFC twitter page; a light heavyweight Showdown between Lyoto Machida (17-3 MMA) vs. Ryan Bader (14-2 MMA) will take place in August at the UFC on FOX event.

Lyoto Machida is coming off a tough loss, where he gave the current Light Heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones a lot of trouble until he was caught in a standing guillotine and put to sleep. Prior to the Jones defeat Machida had only lost on two separate occasions.

Many think of Ryan Bader as one of the rising stars in the LHW division and is coming off of two big wins against Jason Brilz and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

With great wrestling and knockout power, Bader will have a true test against one of the most elusive fighters in MMA today, Lyoto Machida. We will get to see a focused and determined Machida because he cannot afford another loss at this point in his career. Ryan Bader was on his way to a fast pass to a title fight before being derailed when Tito Ortiz submitted him in the upset of the year. Two men with much to lose and even more to gain will go to war live on FOX this August.

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Pedro Rizzo On Fighting Fedor | “I’ve always imagined fighting him and it’s finally happening.”


Pedro Rizzo comments in an interview with TATAME.

Rizzo claims currently has no interest in returning to the UFC and that getting the win over Fedor is his number one priority.

“Honestly, I’m happy about fighting Fedor, because it’s a big challenge fighting him, especially in Russia. It’s going to be crazy, but I guess that craziness is slit in pressure. On the ring it’s me and him. I guess UFC is small now. My dream now is to win this thing, which is huge for me and my career and my will as a competitor. I don’t think about returning to the UFC in case I beat him. I have a couple of fights ahead of me, so I have him and another one, but I got to defeat him first. I’m so glad about fighting Fedor I’m not thinking about UFC, I’m just thinking about this fight.”

“Fighting a guy I’ve always watched fighting, I’ve always imagined fighting him and it’s finally happening.”

“That’s the fighting business. I’ve been on a better momentum and he has been better once too. To me, he’s the same fighter he was at Pride. People say he’s seedy, but I disagree. I guess he’s at the same level. He’s a guy who’s fighting for a long time and sometimes you lose. I guess one thing that is changed about Fedor is his mind. When you’re a champion and you beat everybody you think you’ll always win. That’s 60, 70 percent of the fight. It’s about confidence. When he had his first loss to Fabricio (Werdum), his confidence was broken. Then he was defeated by Bigfoot and then Dan Henderson. He’s a really tough guy, a tough fight and I believe it’s going to be a great bout because at the same time he doesn’t want to let people down, so do I.”

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Dana White UFC on FOX New Jersey Video Blog Day 1

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VIDEO: Jon Jones Has A Message For Hendo: “Let’s Keep It Classy”

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Episode No. 6 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil'

After a brief recap of this past week's edition, it's time to get episode No. 6 of "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil" underway.

With Vitor Belfort in charge with a commanding 4-0 lead, the team members are confident and talking about sweeping the eight opening-round fights, though last-round pick Anistavio "Gasper" Gasparzinho feels like a forgotten member of the team.

Despite their string of losses, Wanderlei Silva's squad hasn't lost confidence.

We then quickly head to the training center for the latest fight announcement, where Vitor says he and Wanderlei have agreed to back-to-back featherweight fights (rather than following the next one with a middleweight bout). Vitor, in fact, makes special mention of Team Silva's toughness and commends specific fighters for their efforts in earlier fights, including Leonardo "Macarrao" Mafra Teixeira's from the previous week.

Wanderlei, though, is less than impressed.

"I'm sick of his speeches," he says in a confessional. "I've had it up to here."

Vitor ultimately announces the fight, and it puts Team Vitor No. 2 pick Hugo "Wolverine" Viana against Team Wanderlei's No. 5 pick Marcos Vinicius Vina.

Hugo began training when he was 9, has a job as a physiotherapist, and he has a supportive family who watches all his fights. He says his fighting spirit comes from his mom and his intelligence from his father. He says fighting makes him a better person, which in turn which makes him a better person for his family.

Vina, meanwhile, showed off his heavy hands in an elimination-round bout. But prior to fighting, he was hustling and has been working since the age of 12 to help his mom provide for the family while living in the slums. A spiritual guy who tries to give back to the community, he takes pride in his work ethic and providing for his own young family. He believes real superheroes are people who achieve without asking anything of others and giving what they can.

After some painfully uncomfortable product placements, the fighters head to the gym to weigh in. Both fighters are good to go after weighing 145 pounds.

On the morning of their fight, the competitors go through their usual routines. After warm-ups, hand-wraps and some final words of encouragement, it's fight time. We have:


Round 1 - Mario Yamasaki gets the action started. Wolverine strikes first with a combo, but Vina ties him up and delivers some knees. They jockey for position against the cage, and Vina lands more knees. Wolverine returns fire as they stay clinched. After they break, Wolverine partially connects on a looping overhand right, and Vina falls on his back during a stumble. Vina throws upkicks as Wolverine throws leg kicks at his downed opponent. Vina is back up, and Wolverine lands a combo. Vina throws another leg kick but gets knocked off balance in the process. Wolverine chips away with leg kicks before ref lets him up. Wolverine throws some punches from distance, but Vina avoids any big shots. Vina now stalks but eats some kicks before partially connecting on a leaping knee. Wolverine gets a takedown before the round ends and takes it 10-9.

Round 2 - The fighters circle to start the round with little action. Vina strikes first with a low kick but is countered with punches. Wolverine is finding his range. The lankier Vina is a second too slow as the quick-footed Wolverine darts in and out of range. Vina, though, gets a takedown and then punishes Vina with knees on the way up. They trade in the center of the cage. Wolverine appears to be tiring. Vina slowly stalks, avoids some haymakers, and lands some knees. He stalks again and gets through some punches on Wolverine. Wolverine throws some two-punch combos, but Vina is avoiding anything damaging. Wolverine has the bigger output, but he's still landing little. Vina gets through a punch that sends his opponent's mouthpiece flying. A close round comes to an end, and there will be no third round.

Hugo "Wolverine" Viana def. Marcos Vinicius Vina via unanimous decision (20-18, 20-18, 20-18)

Now with a 5-0 lead, Wanderlei and his coaches are a bit disappointed because they felt it was a winnable fight and their advice during the bout was ignored. Vitor, meanwhile, wants a clean sweep, which he thinks is very possible.

With that fight in the books, only one featherweight-quarterfinal bout remains, and it pits friend vs. friend with Team Vitor's No. 8 pick Anistavio "Gasper" Gasparzinho vs. Team Wanderlei's No. 1 pick Rony Jason. They've lived and trainer together, and they wonder why they were intentionally matched up. But the fighters hug and know their fate has been determined.

Next week, the friends square off and fight for the final semifinal-round slot. However, this week's episode ends with a surprise visit from former champ Lyoto Machida, who stops by the house and reminds the fighters their time in the sport is short and to make the most of it.

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Quick Twitt | Hector Lombard Requests Random Drug Test | UFC NEWS

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VIDEO: The Nate Diaz Story

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Dana White: Hector Lombard vs. Brian Stann, 'Shogun' Rua vs. Thiago Silva

UFC president Dana White decided to break some news on an apparent lazy Sunday afternoon.

In response to a couple of fan questions, White wrote that the recently signed Hector Lombard (31-2-1, 1 NC) will meet Brian Stann (12-4) in his Octagon debut and, in light heavyweight action, Maurico "Shogun" Rua (20-6) will face fellow Brazilian Thiago Silva (14-3, 1 NC). White didn't reveal when the fights will take place.

The UFC officially announced Lombard's signing on Friday night, and the now former Bellator middleweight champion will enter the UFC on a 25-fight unbeaten streak.

Stann recently got back on the winning track when he defeated Alessio Sakara at UFC on FUEL TV 2 via first-round knockout.

Meanwhile, Rua was originally scheduled to meet Quinton Jackson until "Rampage" decided to recently undergo knee surgery. He lost a close split decision to Dan Henderson at UFC 139 in November.

Silva returned to action after a year-long suspension earlier this month but lost a unanimous decision to Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on FUEL TV 2.

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Dana White: No UFC events In California If CSAC Bill Passes

Assemblyman Luis Alejo introduced a bill in California with the intention of "cleaning up" MMA, which passed the assembly last week with a 5-3 vote. The bill introduces a code of conduct which would allow the state athletic commission to take action against fighters who use "hate speech," slurs, engage in sexual assaults and so on. The bigger issue is that there is language in the bill that could directly challenge the contracts of the UFC.

In particular, the bill calls the following a violation of the new code of conduct on the part of a promoter (Fight Opinion has the easiest to find/read versions of the bill):

(1) Assigns any exclusive future merchandising rights to a promoter for an unreasonable period beyond the term of the promotional contract.
(2) Automatically renews a promotional contract or extends the term without good faith negotiation, or extends the term of any promotional contract of a fighter who participates in a championship contest for a period greater than 12 months beyond the existing contract termination period.
(3) Unreasonably restricts a mixed martial arts fighter from obtaining outside sponsorship from a firm, product or individual.
(4) Requires a mixed martial arts fighter to relinquish all legal claims that the fighter has, or may acquire in the future, against the promoter beyond assumption of the risks Inherent in the sport ofmixed martial arts and the Fighter participation in Pre and Post Bout events and activities.
(5) Requires a fighter to grant or waive any additional rights not contained in the promotional contract as a condition precedent to the fighter's participation in any Contest.

Obviously the first point is something that the UFC has done in the past and led to falling out with Jon Fitch and American Kickboxing Academy for a brief period. The second is a minor challenge to the "championship clause." The third is the standard UFC approval of sponsors and eliminating options from fighters. And so on.


Basically, the standard UFC contract would violate the code of conduct and thus the state would be able to suspend the UFC's promoter license.

In response to this, Dana White simply said that if the bill fully passes and is implemented, they'll stop running shows in the state of California (via The Orange County Register):

"Do you know what's going on in Sacramento, right now?" White said. "They are trying to pass this bill to raise our taxes and do a bunch of crazy (expletive) to us. They voted 4-2 for the bill. There were a couple of people not present to vote on it. If that thing passes we won't do anymore fights in California. All kinds of crazy (expletive) they're trying to throw in this bill for MMA. You know who's doing it? The Culinary Union from Las Vegas. These guys have been (expletive) with us in New York, too. That's why we're not in New York. These guys got a bunch of lobbyists together to try to pass this bill against MMA. They are putting pressure on my partners, the Fertitta brothers, because they own the fourth-largest gaming company in the country and they are non-union."

It's a story that demands close attention going forward and we'll make sure to bring any updates worth sharing going forward.

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