Domestic violence charges against UFC fighter Nick Diaz were dropped on Thursday in a Las Vegas court, according to a statement from Diaz's attorney Ross Goodman.
Diaz, 35, who hasn't appeared in the Octagon since January 2015, had his case dismissed with prejudice (i.e. permanently) after the Clark County Nevada District Attorney declined to pursue it further. The native of Stockton, California, was facing a trio of felony charges, including two counts of domestic battery by strangulation and one count of domestic battery with substantial bodily harm.
"We are grateful that the District Attorney's office was fair and thoughtful in reviewing this case based on the evidence and making the decision to dismiss this matter particularly in light of the Grand Jury's decision finding probable cause was lacking," Goodman said in a statement, which was acquired by MMAFighting.com. "I hope [the decision] clears Diaz's name from being associated with such horrific but false allegations."
Diaz (26-9, 2 NC) was also facing a domestic battery misdemeanor charge from the incident in May. Even though a grand jury decided last month against indicting Diaz on any of his charges, the District Attorney had previously decided to move the case forward.
The charges against Diaz were filed after the alleged victim, an ex-girlfriend of the former Strikeforce welterweight champion, told police Diaz grabbed her by the head and slammed her to the ground before choking her during an argument, which took place in May at a Las Vegas residence. The alleged victim, who was injured when she later fell onto the corner of an outdoor pool after the incident, admitted she also threw a glass at Diaz's head.
The alleged victim, whose injuries were labeled "severe" on the police report, injured her hip in the fall and told police that although Diaz had never been violent to her previously, his recent cocaine use likely triggered the incident.
"Throughout this ordeal [the alleged victim] has given multiple inconsistent versions of what occurred and recently testified before the Grand Jury to a third version," Goodman said. "Further, the medical records made clear that [the alleged victim] did not suffer any fractures, subluxation of dislocation, soft tissue damage or any substantial bodily injuries expected from such allegations.
"The videos she posted prior to this incident clearly shows someone who is motivated by revenge because Nick was seeing other women. Truth delayed is better than no truth at all and I trust that the ultimate dismissal of all charges with prejudice will be viewed as total vindication for Nick and clears his name from being associated with such horrific but false allegations."
Multiple drug suspensions have played a big part in keeping the often mercurial Diaz outside of the cage in recent years. His decision loss at middleweight to former champion Anderson Silva in 2015 was marred by bizarre and distant behavior with the result later changed to a No Contest after both tested positive for banned substances.
Prior to the Silva bout, Diaz lost welterweight title bouts against Georges St-Pierre in 2013 and to then-interim champion Carlos Condit in 2012 (in which he also tested positive for marijuana afterwards). His last victory came in 2011 against BJ Penn at UFC 137.
The court ruling frees Diaz, who is still under contract, up for a possible UFC return. His younger brother Nate, a former lightweight title challenger, will make his own return from a two-year layoff when he faces Dustin Poirier at UFC 230 in New York on Nov. 3.