Nate Diaz‘s next fight isn’t in the Octagon but in the courtroom. The MMA superstar has a preliminary court hearing scheduled for June 27 at 3 PM local time in New Orleans. This hearing is the latest development in his ongoing legal battle related to a street brawl on Bourbon Street in late April.
The potential second-degree battery charges Diaz faces in Louisiana are no laughing matter, as they’re considered a felony and carry a potential sentence of up to eight years in prison, “with or without hard labor,” as well as a fine of up to $2,000.
Video footage shows Diaz choking out Logan Paul lookalike Rodney Petersen after the Misfits Boxing 6 card, which Diaz attended in support of his longtime teammate Chris Avila. Diaz also got into a minor altercation with reality TV star Chase DeMoor that same night, when he threw a water bottle at him during the event. Diaz surrendered to New Orleans authorities days later following a warrant being issued for his arrest, but his team has maintained that Diaz acted in self-defense.
“Nate’s attorney looks forward to presenting all of the facts about this incident to the District Attorney which clearly demonstrates that a trained fighter named Rodney Petersen aggressively pursued Nate with the intention of engaging him and once doing so, Nate acted entirely in self-defense,” Diaz’s representative Zach Rosenfield explained in a statement.
Despite his legal troubles, Diaz is still scheduled to face Jake Paul in a boxing match on August 5 in Dallas. A press conference for the event is set for May 9 at Dallas’ American Airlines Center. Diaz parted ways with the UFC in 2022 following the conclusion of his contract, and his fans are eagerly anticipating his return to the ring. Whether Diaz can clear his legal hurdles and take on the YouTube sensation in the ring remains to be seen.