Jay Hieron will meet Jesse Taylor in a non-title welterweight bout this Saturday at “Carano vs. Cyborg” at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The bout, which was approved by the California State Athletic Commission Monday afternoon, will be one of four fights aired on Showtime at 10:30 p.m. EST.
Taylor, a veteran of “The Ultimate Fighter 7” TV series, will replace Nick Diaz, who failed to take mandatory drug test needed to complete his re-licensing for a welterweight championship bout against Hieron.
Diaz did not show up for his originally scheduled drug test on Friday. The test was re-scheduled Monday, but the CSAC said Diaz and his reps did not arrange a time to take the test with a CSAC inspector who was standing by.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said he’d been in contact with Cesar Gracie, Diaz’s longtime trainer and coach, and had set up two separate flights to transport the fighter from Lake Tahoe, where he was training, to Los Angeles. Coker said he’d also been in contact with the CSAC inspector who would oversee the testing.
“He still has the time to go do it and we’re hoping that he makes the right decision,” said Coker during a teleconference call on Monday.
However, Douglas said no communication had been made.
“Nick Diaz, nor any member of his camp for that matter, has not made contact with the Office of the California State Athletic Commission or Inspector Sid Segovia in charge of the ‘second chance’ drug test that needs to be administered to renew his license,” wrote Douglas in an email to Sherdog.com at 11:41 a.m. PST.
Coker later confirmed that Diaz missed his scheduled flights to Los Angeles.
Gracie told Sherdog.com Saturday that Diaz was caught off-guard by what he calls a change in policy. According to Gracie, former CSAC Executive Officer Armando Garcia came to an agreement with the coach and fighter over a year ago that Diaz would be tested for marijuana, as well as all other non-approved substances, only on the nights of his scheduled bouts.
Gracie said Diaz has a legal medical prescription for marijuana to treat a hyperactivity disorder and that Garcia’s arrangement with the fighter allowed Diaz a two-week window to flush the drug out of his system.
“They just changed the policy and gave us two days’ notice,” said Gracie. “We don’t have any options.”
Taylor, who made it to the TV series semifinals before he was dimissed for disorderly conduct, is on a seven-fight win streak that includes a first-round technical knockout over Dong Sik Yoon at Dream 10 on July 20 in Japan.