NEW YORK CITY – Nick Diaz's camp won't find a vote of confidence from UFC president Dana White in their recent challenge to the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
"I get the whole thing they're going for – the metabolites or whatever it is," White said following Thursday's pre-UFC on FOX 3 press conference. "Nick can't smoke marijuana leading up to a fight. You just can't do it."
While fans and pundits have debated the merits of the drug's legality and the state's case against Diaz, White said he respects the rule of the commission.
"My beef is with the reffing and the judging," he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
). "They sanction me. They tell me what to do. They oversee me and the fighters."
And on May 14, the commission will go head-to-head with Diaz. Las Vegas-based attorney Ross Goodman filed suit on behalf on the fighter this past week, seeking to lift a temporary suspension issued to the fighter after he tested positive for marijuana metabolites in the wake of a decision loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143.
Diaz's camp has attacked the merits of the NSAC's case from the beginning, suggesting that the marijuana metabolites that prompted his failed test aren't banned by the commission.
But White sees the issue in black and white.
"Listen, marijuana's illegal," he said. "You can't smoke it. There's a list of things you can't do. Here's the thing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission: If you're doing something, they ask you to tell them. Just be honest. Come up front and say you did something."
The act of disclosure has been front and center in Diaz's fight with the NSAC. Goodman said the fighter didn't need to note his doctor-recommended use of medical marijuana because it didn't apply to a pre-fight medical questionnaire he left blank.
The NSAC, on the other hand, believes Diaz mislead the commission in doing so, and amended its original complaint against the fighter when paperwork in support of his medical marijuana recommendation surfaced in Goodman's initial response to the suspension.
White said Diaz's situation reminded him of Alistair Overeem, whose failure of a pre-fight drug test at UFC 146 was at the center of a license denial from the NSAC. The former Strikeforce champion didn't disclose his use of a doctor-recommended anti-inflammatory that was later found to contain testosterone, a fact that came out when he was denied.
"I sit in the office with the guy, and he's like, 'I'm the most tested athlete in all of sports. I'll never test positive for anything,'" White said. "Then they tested him at the press conference, and he was 14-to-1 (testosterone-to-epitestosterone) ratio.
"He lied to me, and he lied to the Nevada State Athletic Commission."
Asked which situation frustrates him more – Diaz's suspension scratched a rematch with Condit while Overeem's failure scratched a headliner opposite heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos at UFC 146 – White chose Overeem.
"Nick Diaz didn't tell me he wasn't smoking weed, believe me," he said. "It's one of those things that's a banned substance, you can't do it, and we'll see how this thing plays out. But I just don't see him winning."