Matt Riddle scored a decision win over Che Mills at UFC on Fuel 7 this past weekend. It's his second straight win after a win over Chris Clements at UFC 149 was overturned because Riddle tested positive for marijuana metabolites. He was angry after the positive test because Riddle has a medical marijuana card from Nevada, where he lives.
Riddle mended fences with the UFC brass while in England for his fight, as well.
"I actually talked to [UFC VP of regulatory affairs] Marc Ratner this past weekend in London," Riddle said to MMA Junkie Radio. "I kind of apologized because you know, I can't use medical marijuana. They can use TRT, and I've kind of been like – I've been on the phone with Marc, and he's been like, 'There's nothing we can really do about it. You can't do it. The commissions don't respect your license.' I was kind of like, 'That sucks, bro,' and I was kind of mad at him, but it's not up to him. It's up to the other athletic commissions, and the UFC is doing the best they can to make them happy and to abide by their rules when they go over to Brazil and Europe when those places don't have athletic commissions."
I don't have much sympathy for fighters testing positive for a substance they know is banned, no matter what it is. Though Riddle's medical marijuana card allowed him to use it in Nevada, he should have asked well in advance what it meant for his fight in Canada. Marijuana shouldn't be banned, but it is. Fighters don't have to like the rules, but they do have to follow them.
But this is an issue the state commissions will need to address soon. Marijuana was recently legalized for recreational use in Washington and Colorado. 18 other states, including California and Nevada, allow medical marijuana or have decriminalized the drug. Cities are moving towards changing laws, as well. Chicago now gives tickets for pot possession instead of arrests.
Riddle says he will continue to push for changes in the rules. With marijuana becoming increasingly legal, and little proof that marijuana is a performance enhancer, there's no good reason for commissions to test for it.
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