The organization, Hieron and the California State Athletic commission have been placed in the awkward of position of waiting to see if Diaz will show up to take his pre-fight drug test. Diaz missed his appointment on Friday, but the CSAC has given him a deadline of 3 PM PT to take it.
"As far as I understand, he's supposed to be on his way to Los Angeles to take the test with the state athletic commission," Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said on Monday's conference call to promote the upcoming card, which airs live on Showtime. "Just to be very clear, on Friday, he did not show up for the test, and, you know, I talked to the commission, and they said, 'OK, we'll let him come in on Monday.' So, that's what we had discussed. And as of three o'clock today, we'll know the situation a little bit more clearly, and we'll probably get the results back on Thursday is what they are telling me."
Of course, if Diaz fails to show up for the test, or doesn't pass it, Coker will be left to find a replacement on short notice. He said that the organization is already planning for the worst just in case.
"There's a couple things on the plate, and it's something we'll address at the end of the day if we need to. But we do have a plan in place."
FanHouse has learned that Jesse Taylor, the controversial cast member on the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter, is the leading candidate to replace Diaz if he is not granted a license by the CSAC. Taylor has won his last seven fights in a row, most recently against Dong Sik Yoon in his DREAM debut last month. It's unclear whether a Taylor vs. Hieron fight would still be contested for the Strikeforce welterweight title.
FanHouse has attempted to contact the CSAC regarding this situation, but has yet to hear back.
In April, Diaz told the Los Angeles Times, that he was "a cannabis user" and has "an easy way" to deal with state athletic commission tests.
Diaz tested positive for marijuana after his February 2007 victory over Takanori Gomi at Pride 33. As a result, the victory was later changed to a no decision by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
This is the latest in a string of bad breaks for Strikeforce, which originally booked four title fights for Saturday's card in San Jose, headlined by the Gina Carano vs. Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos fight for the inaugural 145-pound women's title. Joe Riggs, Alistair Overeem and Josh Thomson have all had to pull out of their respective fights, but losing Diaz, who hails from nearby Stockton, Calif., would be the biggest blow thus far.
Regardless, as is usually the case, Coker is staying calm and positive.
"We've been in the business for 25 years -- in the martial arts fight business," he said. "And you know, when I was in my early 20s, and something like this happened, I would freak out, and get upset. But over the years, you know, you learn that it's part of the game. And you don't even try to create logic behind it because sometimes there's no logic behind the thought process of, you know, what has happened or a fighter's decision or a manager's decision or just the circumstances that unfold because of circumstances."
Meanwhile, Hieron can't seem to find a break. The former International Fight League welterweight champion was around to see that organization crumble, and was scheduled to fight on the "Affliction: Trilogy" card before the event was canceled. He agreed to face Diaz on two weeks notice, and is now facing the prospect of having to fight a new opponent on five days notice.
It's all old hat for Hieron.
"I think I've been through everything bad a fighter could be through in his career. So I just chalk it up and keep going forward. Really, I can't control that situation with them, so I try to put it out of my mind."
" ... I can't control it. All I can do is do what I do [and] put on a show. That's all I can ask for at the end of the day. You know, everything will turn out the way it's supposed to, and I can't really stress about the situation. The good thing about it is that I've been through all this stuff before, and it helps me get through this."
One thing's for certain, though, Coker assured Hieron and the media that the Xtreme Couture fighter will be competing on Saturday night's card.
Below is the audio from Monday's Strikeforce conference call.
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