One-time UFC fighter and controversial TUF 7 cast member Jesse Taylor (pictured) has reportedly been approved by the California State Athletic Commission to replace Nick Diaz and fight Jay Hieron at Saturday’s “Carano vs. Cyborg” Strikeforce event in San Jose should Diaz fail to be licensed for the bout.
As MMAFrenzy.com reported earlier today, Diaz, who missed a scheduled Friday drug test, has until 3pm PT today to show up and submit a sample for the mandatory pre-fight screening before he’d be pulled from the fight. If Diaz makes today’s deadline, results from the test would be available on Thursday.
Diaz previously tested positive for marijuana in 2007, which caused his gogoplata submission of Takanori Gomi to be changed to a no contest, and was pulled from an EliteXC card last year due to his disclosed use of medical marijuana, but passed an April drug screening before his Strikeforce bout against Frank Shamrock.
Taylor (13-3), a finalist on The Ultimate Fighter 7, was removed from the finale following a drunken rampage in Las Vegas and went on to be cut by the UFC after suffering a first-round submission loss to CB Dollaway in his lone fight inside the Octagon. “JT Money” has since gone 7-0, most-recently defeating Dong Sik Yoon at DREAM 10 last month.
If Diaz fails to show for today’s test, Strikeforce is expected to announce the news and name a replacement to fight Hieron on the Showtime-televised card before the end of the day. However, if Diaz submits his sample in time, MMAFrenzy.com will pass along results from the test once they’re available on Thursday.
The recently-finalized card for the event is:
MAIN CARD (Showtime-televised)
- Gina Carano vs. Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos
Strikeforce Women’s 145-pound Championship (vacant)
- Nick Diaz vs. Jay Hieron
Strikeforce Welterweight Championship
- Renato “Babalu” Sobral (c) vs. Gegard Mousasi
Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship
- Gilbert Melendez (c) vs. Mitsuhiro Ishida
Strikeforce Interim Lightweight Championship
- Mike Kyle vs. Fabricio Werdum
- Mike Cook vs. Scott Lighty
- David “Tarzan” Douglas vs. Justin Wilcox
- Zak Bucia vs. James Terry
- Isaiah Hill vs. Alex Trevino