Nick Diaz being suspended for five years is looking less and less likely.
The Nevada Athletic Commission released a statement Wednesday, confirming that it is indeed in settlement talks with Diaz's legal team despite its decision last month to suspend Diaz five years and fine him $165,000 for a third marijuana offense.
The statement, from NAC chairman Francisco Aguilar, did say that Diaz's case would not be discussed during the upcoming NAC meeting Thursday.
"As a reminder to the general public, the Nick Diaz disciplinary matter will not be on the agenda at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Nevada State Athletic Commission's on Thursday, October 29, 2015 in Las Vegas," Aguilar said. "Settlement discussions between the NSAC and Mr. Diaz and his counsel are on-going."
Sources told MMA Fighting on Tuesday night that Diaz's legal team was in settlement discussions with the NAC. One source with knowledge of the situation speculated that Diaz would even be allowed to fight in the UFC by summer 2016. Diaz posted Tuesday on Instagram that the UFC's law firm Campbell & Williams was making progress in talks with the commission.
Lucas Middlebrook, Diaz's lead counsel, did confirm with MMA Fighting that the NAC has yet to provide a written decision saying that Diaz would be suspended five years. He would not comment further on the matter.
"It's a work in progress," he said.
Last month, the NAC said Diaz would be suspended five years and fined $165,000 for failing a drug test for marijuana at UFC 183. It was Diaz's third weed offense in the state and the commission also felt the popular fighter had lied on a pre-fight questionnaire when he said he had not taken any drugs within 30 days of the bout.
The lengthy suspension drew a bevy of criticism from fighters, media, fans and even celebrities like Cher, Floyd Mayweather and Wiz Khalifa. A White House petition asking for the decision to be overturned garnered more than 100,000 online signatures.
Diaz fell to Anderson Silva at UFC 183 on Jan. 31 via unanimous decision. Silva failed a fight-night drug test for steroid metabolites and also a pre-fight test for one of the same subtances, though the NAC did not get the results back until after the bout. Silva was only suspended for one year in August and he'll be able to fight as early as this coming February.