One of the sport's most elusive figures may go back into MMA's version of witness protection if a Thursday social media post is accurate.
Nate Diaz, set to main event UFC 244 a week from this Saturday against Jorge Masvidal in one of the year's most anticipated fights, posted on Twitter that due to a USADA claim that he has "elevated levels that they say might be from some tainted supplements", he's out of the fight.
Diaz said he only eats food from Whole Foods, natural supplements, and no meat. He added that unless UFC, USADA, or "whoever is f**king with me fixes it", he's not fighting as well as alluding that someone offered to keep the violation quiet until after the fight.
To this point, UFC, USADA, nor Dana White have confirmed the news, but Yahoo's Kevin Iole tweeted White was with President Donald Trump having dinner so he was indisposed. ESPN's Ariel Helwani said this is not a prank and the situation is fluid, but that the fight hasn't been canceled.
Masvidal is still down for the fight for which a "BMF" title was being created for:
The 34-year-old Diaz returned to the UFC in August for the first time in three years in a dominant win over Anthony Pettis that helped set up the Masvidal fight. If he is indeed out, it seems unlikely Masvidal would take a short notice fill-in even though UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman tweeted that he would take the fight and still fight Colby Covington in December.
While the card is deep, the co-main event is Kelvin Gastelum vs. Darren Till which isn't exactly a PPV headliner. Fellow welterweights Stephen Thompson and Vicente Luque are also on the card, but Masvidal has already fought, and lost, to Thompson.
While Conor McGregor seems like a long shot for Masvidal should the fight fall through, the popular Irish fighter did call out the winner. He said today he is preparing for a mid-January return in Las Vegas, but Diaz did fill in on short notice to fight McGregor in their first battle, so anything is possible, especially with a MSG main event and big pay-per-view money on the line.