White: Fine and suspension or release for Nate Diaz tweet, manager unrepentant


nate-diaz-22.jpgUFC lightweight Nate Diaz is the latest fighter to violate the UFC’s code of conduct, and the promotion has suspended him.

Hours after Diaz wrote a derogatory term for a homosexual on his official Twitter account, UFC President Dana White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the fighter would be fined and suspended – or possibly released from the promotion. He did not give a timeline for a decision.

But late Thursday, UFC officials issued a statement to MMAjunkie.com that stated the company had suspended Diaz.

“We are very disappointed by Nate Diaz’s comments, which are in no way reflective of our organization,” the statement read. “Nate is currently suspended pending internal investigation, and we will provide further comment once the matter has been decided.”

Diaz issued a pair of tweets Thursday in which he expressed sympathy for Pat Healy, who was docked $130,000 in bonus money after testing positive for marijuana, and attacked the fighter given $65,000 of the money, Bryan Caraway.

“I feel bad for pat Healy that they took a innocent mans money and I think the guy who took the money is the biggest F-g in the world,” Diaz wrote on Twitter.

Healy submitted Jim Miller at UFC 159 this past month in Newark, N.J. But after his positive test, the win was overturned to a no-contest.

Earlier this year, the UFC instituted a formal code of conduct that bars fighters from using discriminatory or derogatory language. This past month, the promotion suspended and fined heavyweight Matt Mitrione for an offensive rant about transgender fighter Fallon Fox, though the suspension lasted a mere three weeks before he was booked for another fight.

Diaz’s manager, Mike Kogan, told MMAjunkie.com he expected the UFC to take action, but as of a Thursday afternoon conversation with him, he hadn’t spoken to anyone from the promotion.

Kogan, however, defended Diaz’s choice of words. He did not advise the fighter to delete the tweet and suggested his Twitter followers to look up the meaning of the word “f-g” in the Urban Dictionary.

“Nate voiced a personal opinion about an incident that took place involving Bryan Caraway in which he chased Dana all over Twitter to try to get a bonus, which was taken away from Pat Healy, got the bonus, and then had the nerve to go back out there and bash the guy and talk s–t about weed-smoking and how much he hates it and how it’s wrong, which was, at best, a s–t move on his side,” Kogan said.

“Guess what? The word f—-t, 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. 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.”

White has defended fighters such as Ronda Rousey for voicing controversial opinions, but has also blasted fighters for not exercising common sense in using social media. In 2011, the UFC released bantamweight Miguel Torres for tweeting a joke making light of rape, though it later reinstated the fighter after he apologized.

Discussing Mitrione’s suspension, White stressed that fighters were free to voice their opinion, but were subject to the consequences of their choice of words.

“How people take it is beyond my control,” said Kogan when asked whether fighters such as Diaz are held to a higher standard in their use of social media. “But that’s what his intent was. And it was a bitch move, for the record. Pat Healy? 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—ing weed in his mouth. He got fined. He doesn’t need somebody else dwelling over it.

“I’m sure some people got offended, and hopefully this article will explain what his intent was. But how people view it is how people view it. I can’t control that. His intent was not to make a derogatory term toward homosexuals. He used the word to refer to a punk or a bitch.”

(Pictured: Nate Diaz)

Updated at 8:20 p.m. on May 16, 2013, to reflect the UFC’s decision to suspend Diaz while an internal investigation takes place.

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