Updated June 5th, 2020 at 18:10 IST
Study suggests almost half of MMA fighters consume marijuana: Report
UFC fighters have been smoking cannabis for a long time but a recent study suggests almost half of the MMA fighters consume cannabis in their free time.
Mixed Martial Arts is, unquestionably, a dangerous sport and MMA fighters are required to follow a strict regimen to maintain physical fitness. From cutting down on weight to following stringent diets, MMA fighters have to undergo a number of ordeals to sustain their fitness. However, a recent study suggests that close to half of the MMA athletes consume marijuana. While UFC superstars like Nate Diaz, Nick Diaz, and Sean O’Malley have already been vocal about their cannabis consumption, there are many more MMA fighters who openly consume cannabis.
UFC news: Study suggests almost 50 percent MMA fighters consume marijuana
The Athletic recently conducted a poll on 170 MMA fighters to understand the usage of marijuana by MMA fighters and found that nearly half of them smoke cannabis in their leisure time. Although smoking pot to 24 hours prior to a fight is banned in the UFC and other leading MMA organisations, several UFC fighters have been open about consuming cannabis in their free time. According to The Athletic’s recent poll, 45.9 percent of MMA fighters admitted to smoking cannabis for either recreational purposes or recovery. Another 4.7 percent claimed they regularly used marijuana in the past but revealed that they have stopped since.
WADA should remove marijuana from the prohibited list. Here are several of the reasons why... https://t.co/y7KjkhwKut— Jeff Novitzky (@JeffNovitzkyUFC) June 1, 2020
However, not everyone is surprised by the recent findings on marijuana usage by MMA fighters. The Vice President of UFC-Athlete Health and Performance, Jeff Novitzky revealed that he is well aware of UFC fighters smoking marijuana and believes that WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) should remove marijuana from the prohibited list. Reacting to the poll conducted by The Athletic, Jeff Novitzky said that it “sounds pretty accurate”. According to Jeff, he has never polled the UFC roster since it's "anecdotal" but stated that he has had many discussions with the fighters regarding marijuana consumption.
"That's the biggest problem I see with that. I can almost guarantee you (that happens) because I've had these conversations with some of our athletes when I tell them that marijuana needs to be discontinued a few weeks out from the fight. That's blood on the hands of the anti-doping movement and WADA right there. That's the major reason why I think that those rules need to be changed and uniformly. We need to take marijuana off the prohibited list." Jeff Novitzky told The Athletic.
UFC news: Do UFC fighters consume marijuana?
While not every UFC fighter consumes marijuana, the poll suggests nearly half of MMA fighters do. Donald Cerrone has often been spotted endorsing Ignite CBD products. The likes of Anthony Pettis, Anthony Johnson, Sean O’Malley, Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz are some of the prominent UFC fighters who have been open about their cannabis consumption.
Image courtesy: UFC
Published June 5th, 2020 at 18:10 IST