UFC veteran Nick Diaz has been the center of one of the biggest MMA new stories of 2015; sadly it’s been one of the more controversial, less positive stories.

Diaz was suspended five years from MMA competition by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) earlier this year after testing positive for marijuana in a UFC 183 post-fight urine test. The sentence was deemed disgusting by the vast majority of those involved in the sport, and a White House petition to have the ban lifted has since been signed by over 100,000 people.

Diaz is widely considered to be among the very best welterweight competitors in the sport, and it would certainly be a shame if the 32-year-old was never seen inside the cage again.

“There’s a reason I’m good at what I do… I’m focused on what I’m doing and I’m not changing that,” Diaz told Fighters Only in a 2011 interview.

Though he has the reputation of a bad boy, Nick found himself the recipient of overwhelming support this year following his unjust NSAC sentencing. But in FO’s ’11 interview, the Stockton-based fighter explained that he’s always been misunderstood.

“I’m not violent. I don’t want to hurt people,” he explained. “I don’t love doing this… I love jiu-jitsu because it works, because it makes you stronger and smarter. I think everybody should do jiu-jitsu. You’d be more healthy and you’d have more insight, kids should do it too and be more healthy.”

If Diaz’s suspension is not lifted, or at least reduced, he will not be eligible to compete again until January 31st 2020. If indeed he is rendered unable to make a living in the only profession he has ever known – mixed martial arts – then at least it seems as though the former Strikeforce champ lives a modest life and doesn’t need much to make him happy.

“I don’t need nice cars. I don’t spend big money,” he said. “All I do is buy food and train and try to live healthy. Training’s taught me how to live and I don’t need much now.”

Read the full interview with Nick Diaz in the September 2011 edition of Fighters Only. Order your copy here.