UFC lightweight Nate Diaz could very well end up facing divisional peer Pat Healy at some point down the road. However, the 28-year old was in the suspended scrapper’s corner yesterday and could end up paying a serious price as a result.
Diaz went on Twitter to protest the UFC’s decision to strip Healy of $130,000 in bonus money related to a win over Jim Miller after “Bam Bam” tested positive for marijuana use. Though his intent may have been noble, his words were on the other end of the acceptability spectrum and ultimately landed Diaz in hot water.
“I feel bad for Pat Healy that they took an innocent man’s money and I think the guy who took the money is the biggest f*g in the world,” wrote Diaz. Though not mentioned by name, bantamweight Bryan Caraway nabbed $65,000 of the money made available by Healy’s failed screening.
The UFC’s response came swiftly with the organization stepping in to announce Diaz had been suspended with further punishment possible after an “internal investigation”.
Mike Kogan, Diaz’s manager, spoke to MMAJunkie about the situation and defended his client’s actions based on the intent behind the insult in question.
“Guess what? The word fa**ot, at least in Northern California, and where Nate is from, means bitch. It means you’re a little punk. It has nothing to do with homosexuals at all,” said Kogan. “So when Nate made the comment that he made, he didn’t make it in reference to homosexuals or calling Caraway a homosexual. He just said it was a bitch move.”
“It’s not like Pat Healy is Georges St-Pierre and he could afford it. That was probably the most money he’s ever made in his life. And because of something he did I’m pretty sure way before the fight … it’s not like he walked out into the cage with f*cking weed in his mouth. He got fined. He doesn’t need somebody else dwelling over it,” concluded Kogan, criticizing Caraway for actively lobbying to land a bonus initially assigned to Healy.
Caraway went online to defend himself last night, explaining he had an issue with weed based on his sister’s use of the substance turning into more serious problems with other drugs and the “hardships” his family had gone through as a result.
Diaz’s case is the latest instance of a UFC competitor being penalized for behavior deemed unacceptable by the higher ups. Last month, heavyweight Matt Mitrione received a similar sentence for some insensitive comments but was ultimately booked for a bout a few weeks later.