Dec 28, 2012, 3:28 PM EDT
If you’re wondering about that huge caravan of UFC fighters driving into Colorado and Washington, that’s probably due to the new marijuana laws. According to UFC president Dana White, those guys smoke a lot of weed. And I mean a lot.
White is fearful of the harm that PEDs can do in the sport (White: “When you take a performance-enhancing drug and you go in and you face another fighter, you can hurt him. You know what I mean?”). But as Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer has begun ordering more random drug tests, White is also fearful that more UFC fighters will get dinged for marijuana use.
Kizer will oversee UFC 155 on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden, featuring the main card of heavyweights Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez.
“Forget about PEDs,” White said. “If we get into this system that we’re talking about where we would randomly test these guys, do you know how many guys would probably test positive for marijuana? It would be probably off the charts.
“If you randomly test them and then [the results] came out, you’d get the exact same suspension [for using marijuana] as you do for using PEDs.
“Everybody thinks that if you did this random testing you’d catch so many guys on PEDs,” White said. “No. You’d catch more of the guys on marijuana. That’s where you’d really bust a lot of guys. … We have 475 guys under contract and probably 400 of them would be out with marijuana.”
White doesn’t think it’s fair that fighters should get the same penalties for marijuana use as they do for PEDs.
“But [giving fighters similar suspensions for using both PEDs and marijuana] is just crazy. It’s so easy to sit there and say, ‘Here’s what you should do. Here’s how you fix it,’ but there are so many flaws in the system, it’s just not that easy. It’s not just, ‘Hey, let’s sign up this company [to do testing].’ There’s a whole [expletive] of things that would come about.”
Caught between a rock and a hard place, White is. If the UFC wants to continue to go mainstream, it’s going to have to include more drug testing. Of course, White could say, ‘If the NFL goes first, we’ll follow.’
Or, UFC fighters could just quit smoking pot. Is that an option?
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