Even before the Nevada State Athletic Commission hammered Nate Diaz’s UFC 202 opponent, Conor McGregor, with steep penalties Diaz’s legal team opted for a far different legal approach – playing nice with the NAC.
With the McGregor lesson in hindsight, complete with a hefty $150,000 fine, 50 hours of community service and (if it wasn’t for its arbitrary and capricious nature) an almost comical requirement that the fighter produce a “glossy” PSA for the commission, the Diaz legal play seems all the wiser.
I have obtained a copy of the NAC’s Complaint for Disciplinary Action against Diaz where the commission seeks vague relief against the fighter namely an unspecified “penalty” legal costs and “such other and further relief as the Commission may deem just and proper“.
In the face of similar allegations McGregor’s lawyer denied wrongdoing, raised affirmative defenses such as challenges to the commission’s jurisdiction and even went so far as to suggest he was acting in self defense and defense of others when he hurled a water bottle and a can of Monster Energy drink towards Diaz. This drew scrutiny and even ire of the commission and arguably fueled their heavy handed response.
Despite the mysterious and uncertain punishment the NAC is seeking, Diaz’s legal team has chosen to admit wrongdoing and seek leniency. This strategy is one that has paid off in the past as those with experience before the NAC can attest to. Unless there is strong legal and factual foundation against discipline admitting wrongdoing and pleas for leniency tend to resonate with the NAC. Diaz apologizes, notes no injury arose from his actions, expresses regret and asks for leniency. A strategy which hopefully will pay off for the fighter.
Taking things a step further Diaz’s lawyer would be wise to discuss matters with the Nevada AG’s office ahead of his hearing and learn what punishment is being recommended and ideally make a joint submission for the NAC to consider. While the NAC had no issue going above and beyond the State’s recommendation for McGregor’s punishment, it is harder to justify doing so when both parties come to the table with a jointly agreed resolution
Here is a copy of Diaz’ full Answer –