Orleans DA refuses battery case against former UFC fighter Nate Diaz

Former UFC fighter Nate Diaz, shown at right in this September 2022 file photo, was arrested...
Former UFC fighter Nate Diaz, shown at right in this September 2022 file photo, was arrested April 27, five days after allegedly rendering a man unconscious with a chokehold on Bourbon Street.(Source: AP Photo/John Locher)
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 3:57 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams has refused to prosecute former UFC fighter Nate Diaz, who was arrested in April after allegedly rendering a man unconscious with a chokehold during a tussle on Bourbon Street.

Diaz, a native of Stockton (Calif.), surrendered to New Orleans police on April 27 -- five days after the incident -- and was booked with second-degree battery. Had Diaz been charged and convicted of that felony offense, he could have faced up to eight years in state prison.

Online court records show the case was refused by Williams’ office on Monday (Sept. 25) in Orleans Parish Magistrate Court.

“After reviewing all available evidence of the allegation, including video and testimony, there is not sufficient support to prove the alleged crime,” OPDA spokesman Keith Lampkin said in a statement.

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Diaz, 38, became one of the best-known and most-feared mixed martial artists in the UFC during a professional career spanning nearly 20 years.

According to the NOPD, and a video clip widely shared on social media, Diaz attended an April 21 boxing match in New Orleans and then got involved in an altercation with another man in the 400 block of Bourbon Street hours later at 2:10 a.m.

The video purportedly showed Diaz putting the other man into a chokehold until the man lost consciousness, then letting the man fall backward, striking the back of his head on the street. The NOPD said officers arrived to disperse a crowd at the scene of a “large altercation,” but Diaz had already left.

“(A) Witness alerted the officers to a white male subject who was believed to be unconscious,” the NOPD said in a statement on April 22. “A short time later, the subject regained consciousness. Officers observed the subject was bleeding from the rear of his head and EMS was summoned to render aid. After investigation, an arrest warrant was issued for Nate Diaz.”

An attorney for Diaz later told TMZ Sports that his client had acted in self-defense after being challenged by a trained fighter who “aggressively pursued Nate with the intention of engaging him.”

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