The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Really?

So Nick Diaz is officially the 47th fighter to be pulled from Strikeforce on the 15th, this time due to refusing to take a pot test, and is replaced by Jesse Taylor of all people. What a snakebit show this is; God help them if either of the main eventers miss weight again.

I have to say, I have zero sympathy for Nick Diaz on this one. The discussion isn’t really about whether weed is bad, or whether it should be legalized, or even if legalized whether it should be accepted in the system of a fighter applying for a license; the discussion is really about the ability of a fighter to meet the basic obligations required to ply their trade in a given jurisdiction. California tests for weed; they have a standing rule that for a fighter applying for a license with a prior drug positive, such a fighter must pass a test for the drug for which they had previously failed; and all of this either was or should have been well known to Diaz and his camp. Despite that, Diaz no-showed several different dates agreed on to take a drug test despite having plane tickets provided to him by his promoter, despite time extensions from the commission, despite multiple opportunities to appear. The reason why is fairly obvious. Diaz has some excuses about having a previous secret deal with Armando Garcia when he was head of the commission to only be drug tested day-of-fight as a result of being a legal medical marijuana user, but that excuse won’t hold water for many reasons the most obvious of which is that when you have a secret deal with one person to bend or break a rule, that deal is only valid so long as that person has power. Garcia got the heave a while ago; time to wise up.

Ultimately, Diaz just demonstrated that he didn’t care enough about this fight, the title it was supposed to be for, or his promoter to keep clean enough to pass a test during his own training camp. I think that morally the case for marijuana legalization is overwhelming despite not ever being a user myself, and I’m not wholly convinced that pot should even be tested for as a relevant substance for licensing purposes, but until the day comes when that policy changes it’s the responsibility of people who want to be licensed by the state and make money under their aegis to comply with their rules. Diaz’s priorities lie elsewhere, and the sad fact is that Strikeforce are so desperate for stars and draws of any stature that this is likely to have zero short-term effect on Diaz’s bookings. When you talk about things which are bad for MMA, Diaz putting Strikeforce into the position of looking like a drug haven for B-level fighters right at the point where they’re trying to break out of life as a regional promotion into serious-competitor status has to be on the list somewhere. That “Strikefarce” nickname is starting to get some traction with the hardcores, and right now those hardcores are pretty much the extent of Strikeforce’s audience outside of California. And if you’re a promotion looking to run PPV in a year, can you really trust a guy who’s missed a fight and tested positive after another one on different occasions to be a serious part of that show? Strikeforce will have to because there’s not much else to work with. Best of luck to them.

Meanwhile, M1 moved a show out of California a month in advance after they lost a financial backer, one of their headliners pulled out, and it was revealed that they had never even applied for a promoter’s license in the state. So that partnership is already paying dividends. What a fustercluck.

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August 10, 2009 - Posted by | MMA | ,

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