Stephan Bonnar never meant to cheat. That's what he says now, five months after being busted for steroids, testing positive for Drostanolone after facing Anderson Silva . Even so, he acknowledges that he did take the banned performance-enhancing drug prior to accepting the Silva fight. Those two statements may sound like they contradict each other, but according to Bonnar, the purposes for his usage had nothing to do with his pro fighting career, which was then dormant, and everything to do with trying to fix his ailing knees.
In his first public interview since the October 2012 match, Bonnar said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that after being shelved for months and being advised to retire by UFC president Dana White, he had given up hope of closing out his career with a major fight.
In that time, he'd undergone a pair of stem cell procedures on his injured knee. Two months after the second stem cell procedure, he decided he wanted to return to the gym to get in shape and help some of his friends train. In doing so, he made the decision to obtain some chemical assistance.
"Believe it or not, there are some therapeutic uses to some of the banned substances," he said. "Bottom line, I wanted to get my strength back. I was very weak. My body didn't feel good, my joints didn't feel good. That was my goal."
But then, out of the blue, the semi-retired fighter got the phone call he never thought was coming. After about 10 months without a fight, he was being asked to compete against the the sport's pound-for-pound king, Anderson Silva.
Faced with the opportunity, he looked at the calendar, and then the scale. He had three weeks to train, and 35 pounds to lose. And, he says, if you think he would intentionally take steroids when he had that much weight to lose to make the light-heavyweight division's 205-pound limit, you are crazy.
Nick went on to face well-traveled veteran Thomas Denny at EliteXC: Unfinished Business in Nick's hometown of Stockton, California . After a sluggish start to the fight, Diaz found his range and dominated Denny during the latter half of the first round.  Diaz continued to keep the fight standing and maintained a high-paced tempo for the remainder of the fight, earning an impressive knockout victory over the veteran Denny 0:30 into round two.  Diaz was rumoured to have a rematch against the current EliteXC Lightweight Champion KJ Noons, airing on CBS October 4, 2008. However, Noons and his camp refused to accept the match. Mark Dion, Noon's manager was quoted as saying, "As far as Nick Diaz, he's not the No. 1 contender out there."  Diaz was scheduled to face Eddie Alvarez for the EliteXC 160 pound title on November 8, 2008 before the company ceased operations.