Nick Diaz’s whopping sentence from the Nevada State Athletic Commission essentially means he’s unemployable anywhere in North America.

All Commissions in the United States and Canada are bound by the NSAC ruling, one that hit Diaz with a five-year suspension and a $165,000 fine, essentially not for a positive drug test for marijuana, but for his utter disdain for the Commission itself and following the rules.

So, where can Diaz go?

One could say there are plenty of opportunities but that’s all dependent on whether those presiding Commissions will allow it and whether any ‘foreign’ promotion will want to take a chance on the fighter showing up or the fight being rejected.

Tossing aside for the moment any Commission or promoter concerns, there are some possibilities for Diaz that are reasonably appetizing.

ONE FC

A Diaz-Ben Askren showdown is by far the most marketable fight since ONE does get a modicum of exposure in the United States, and Diaz could wind up getting some half-way decent sponsorship dollars.

That said, it has all the likelihood of being the kind of fight that Diaz hates. He wants a fight, a real fight. He busts you up, and you bust him up. Last man standing wins.

Askren, ONE’s welterweight title-holder, is widely recognized as one of the best lay-and-pray fighters in the world. The UFC didn’t want him for his high boredom factor so after a long run in Bellator he jumped at the ONE money.

It’s the biggest name out there for Diaz, but undoubtedly the most frustrating fight.

At 170 pounds, the other option in Asia is Luis “Sapo” Santos, who was no-contested by an Askren eye poke this past April.

The other option in ONE could be their middleweight champ, but outside of ONE headquarters does anyone know Igor Svirid?

BAMMA

By a quick review, the ranks of the British organization aren’t as deep as they once were, but there could be something here.

Although he was recently cut by the UFC, Tom “Kong” Watson is a huge fan favorite in the UK, and the kind of fighter that Diaz would be interested in facing. A throwdown between these two is likely to leave the canvas covered in blood.

Quite frankly, if the British governing body lets this one fly, it’s by far the most entertaining fight out there for Diaz.

KSW / M-1

These two organizations probably aren’t held up to the same guidelines by whatever Commission oversees them compared to the leagues in North America. If it comes down to legalities, KSW and M-1 are better bets to land Diaz’s services.

There are a handful of potential foes here for Diaz, and based on past history, both KSW and M-1 are known for paying their fighters quite handsomely.

Brit Jim Wallhead, Brazil’s Maiquel Falco, and Americans Brett Cooper and Luigi Fioravanti all could be under consideration.

Think for a moment what the imagery would be like to see Russian president Vladimir Putin congratulating Diaz after a fight in Leningrad. How’s that for sticking it to the man?

About The Author

Scott Zerr
Staff Writer

Scott joins The MMA Corner having spent the last 14 years in mixed martial arts as Director of Media & Fighter Relations for the Maximum Fighting Championship. He will provide The MMA Corner with insight on breaking news in the sport, plus an insider's perspective on business developments, matchmaking, fighter signings, and much more. In addition to his longtime work in MMA, Scott was a sports reporter before moving into media relations and marketing. After growing up and working in Edmonton, Alberta, Scott has since moved to Bakersfield, California to be with his wife Christina (an avid fight fan, thank goodness) and kids.