Nate Diaz Cleared of Doping, Will Fight Jorge Masvidal In UFC 244 Main Event
The “Baddest MF” belt battle is officially back on for Saturday, November 2.
After Nate Diaz demanded that his name be cleared following an adverse finding in a recent drug test, the UFC released a lengthy statement early Saturday morning announcing that the UFC 244 main event fighter “has not committed an anti-doping policy violation, has not been provisionally suspended and is not subject to any sanctions.”
ICYMI: The fight is on!
Diaz set to compete at #UFC244
— UFC (@ufc) October 26, 2019
The dramatic turnaround comes less than 48 hours after Diaz said he would not compete at UFC 244 after receiving word that a drug test came back with a positive result for a banned substance, reports CBS Sports.
Read the UFC’s statement here:
“UFC has been notified by USADA that the out-of-competition test concluded that LGD-4033 was present in Mr. Diaz’s sample at an amount below the decision concentration level for this substance.
“USADA is reviewing the out-of-competition test as an atypical finding. Further laboratory testing conducted by the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory (SMRTL), a WADA-accredited lab in Salt Lake City, Utah, has confirmed that two bottles of the same organic, vegan, plant-based daily multivitamin that Mr. Diaz was using were each contaminated with LGD-4033, which the evidence supports resulted in Mr. Diaz’s positive sample.
“Mr. Diaz has not committed an anti-doping policy violation, has not been provisionally suspended and is not subject to any sanctions. Additionally, UFC has been informed by independent experts who have determined that there is unequivocally no appreciable performance enhancing or therapeutic benefit from the significantly limited amount of LGD-4033 that may be present in his system, which is roughly 10,000 times lower than one LGD-4033 therapeutic dose.”
Diaz tweeted on Thursday that he had pulled out of the main event, scheduled for November 2 at New York’s Madison Square Garden, after being told he tested positive for “elevated levels” of a banned substance that came from “tainted supplements.”
“You’re all on steroids, not me,” Diaz captioned a lengthy screenshot of a longer explanation in which he wholly denied taking anything that could be tainted.
Your all on steroids not me pic.twitter.com/ykrZmRIoPS
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) October 24, 2019
“I’m not gonna make it out to NYC for fight week next week because they say I tested with elevated levels that they say might be from some tainted supplements. I call false on that cause I only take Whole Food or natural food supplements. I don’t even eat meat. So until UFC, USADA or whoever is fucking with me fixes it, I won’t be competing.”
Diaz continued, “I don’t give a fuck about some money over my dignity and my legacy. I’m not playing along with this bullshit. I’m not staying quiet and figuring it out after the fight. That’s cheating. So fight game I’ll see you when I see you. Sincerely, The real baddest mother fucker in the game.”
The UFC and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the MMA organization’s anti-doping partner, have yet to issue a statement. However, sources speaking to ESPN said that Diaz has not been provisionally suspended, despite “testing positive for trace amounts of a prohibited selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM).”
“UFC and USADA are gathering information and will issue a statement as soon as possible,” USADA spokesperson Adam Woullard told ESPN.
Multiple fighters, including Masvidal himself, rallied around Diaz after his Thursday tweet.
“You not the baddest mofo in the game (i am) but you are one of the cleanest mofo’s @NateDiaz209,” Masvidal tweeted. “I’ll see you nov 2. I know your name is clean.”
— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) October 24, 2019
Light heavyweight champ Jon Jones, who’s faced USADA suspensions after failing drug tests in the past, showed nothing but support for Diaz.
“I do. Keep your head up man,” Jones tweeted. “I knew I was innocent and was willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours with scientists and lawyers to prove it.”
Not many people in the world know what you’re feeling right now, I do. Keep your head up man. I knew I was innocent and was willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours with scientists and lawyers to prove it.
— BONY (@JonnyBones) October 24, 2019
I know you feel like someone is setting you up, that’s exactly how I felt. At times its going to feel like a pretty hopeless situation but maybe it’s not, you can’t just give up and do nothing. This is a different type of fight man, you owe it to your fans to fight it.
— BONY (@JonnyBones) October 24, 2019
Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman had volunteered to replace Diaz ahead of his own December 14 fight against Colby Covington.
“I’ll fight in Nov and Dec. that’s what a BMF does now come see me!”
— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) October 24, 2019
Both Covington and Ben Askren, who has a tumultuous relationship with Usman, shot him down.
FAKE NEWS. Quit trying to fight journeymen Marty. Let Masvidal fight another .500 fighter or Leon Scott. You got a date with daddy December 14th. And we’re not talking about the one in Federal Penitentiary. https://t.co/wO9ssn3NGY
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) October 24, 2019
Marty is lying. He won’t fight Jorge
— Funky (@Benaskren) October 25, 2019
Even Conor McGregor’s coach commented on Diaz’s latest development.
Well well well, the plot thickens eh??
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) October 24, 2019