Nick Diaz received an unprecedented five-year suspension by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Monday for testing positive for marijuana for a third time. Diaz's third offense stemmed from a post-fight drug test on Jan. 31, 2015, after he lost to Anderson Silva at UFC 183.
The 32-year-old Diaz, who tested positive for marijuana in 2007 and 2012, also was fined $150,000.
Some viewed the penalty as too harsh, leading to a #FreeNickDiaz hashtag on Twitter.
It also led to a petition on whitehouse.gov titled "Lift the NSAC ban from MMA fighter Nick Diaz."
The petition reads:
"Nick Diaz was unfairly banned from being a professional fighter by the Nevada Athletics Commission. They ruled based on their personal feelings and beliefs towards the use of medical Marijuana and used their power to deprive Mr. Diaz of being able to make a living."
As of 10 a.m. Tuesday the petition was signed by more than 7,297 people. It must reach 100,000 signatures by Oct. 14 in order to receive a response from the White House.