Cannabis athlete Nate Diaz will be weed-free in his boxing debut against Jake Paul
Nate Diaz continues to tease that he may back out of his boxing debut against YouTuber Jake Paul this summer due to cannabis laws in the Lone Star State, MMA Mania reports.
Diaz has joked for weeks about moving the fight to a regulated state after his cannabis exemption application was denied by the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation last month. The veteran MMA fighter is not only partial to the pre-fight drug test but also the inability to consume during his stay.
We gonna have to move states pic.twitter.com/sq85apLZwc
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) June 3, 2023
Challenger Jake Paul, who has yet to comment on the role of cannabis prohibition, organized the fight. And just a few months from the event, a change of venue is unlikely.
If the fight goes on and Diaz tests positive for THC, he could face repercussions, including suspension from the sport and a hefty fine. If Diaz wins the bout but fails the drug test, it would overturn the victory to a No Contest decision.
When asked about the zero-tolerance cannabis policy in Dallas, Diaz replied with hesitation before getting the OK to consume from a self-proclaimed member of the Dallas Police Department who remained off camera.
“WAIT, WHAT HAPPENED?”
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) May 9, 2023
Cannabis policy in combat sports
In 2021, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) updated its drug policy, allowing cannabis use as long as athletes’ consumption did not enhance their performance. However, this is not a UFC bout and the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation will hold Diaz to the same testing standards as all combat athletes competing in the state, MMA Junkie reports.
Paul is coming to the fight off his first loss as a boxer with a 6-1 record featuring six knock-outs. Diaz last fought in September 2022, taking his opponent out with a submission before navigating himself out of his UFC contract to become a free agent.
As the fight gets closer, Diaz is dealing with a controversial second-degree felony battery charge for a street fight in New Orleans. His lawyers claim he acted in self-defense following the release of a video showing the seasoned fighter choking someone until they passed out. Diaz turned himself in to authorities before posting a bond and heading back to California in late April. His first court appearance regarding the matter is set for June 27th.
Fans anticipate a contentious fight based on press coverage
In the weeks leading up to the fight, including the press conference featuring both men, Paul has expressed disdain for Diaz, painting him as a bully. The media has called the press conference “bizarre” due to Diaz mumbling responses and walking off-stage without warning. Paul disrespected him throughout, calling him “slow” and stating that “I don’t speak Stockton,” a dig at the California farm town where Diaz grew up, in response to his mumbling.
Though disrespectful, this type of banter often leads to an explosive fight and can sometimes psych out an opponent–a tactic first used by Muhammad Ali in the Fight of the Century against Joe Frazier.
All jokes aside, Diaz seems all in, posting fight promos on his socials just today. The boxing match between Nate Diaz versus Jake Paul is on August 5th at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, TX. Fans can also watch the fight live on DAZN PPV.