Riddle Convinced UFC Hates Marijuana
About 2 weeks ago, welterweight Matt Riddle gave the best performance of his career in a split decision victory over Che Mills at UFC on FUEL TV 7. The fight could have propelled Riddle to face truly elite competition for the first time in his life had he not tested positive for marijuana shortly after the fight once again and gotten released from the promotion for his second violation in a year.
Although Riddle has a prescription for marijuana from a Las Vegas physician and its use is legal in several states, the UFC still punishes their employees for any recreational use of this controversial plant in the last few months before a fight.
Riddle is obviously frustrated that he was cut over something that in no way gives him an unfair advantage inside the cage and therefore cannot help but concede to the rumored stereotype that the UFC has a personal vendetta against fighters who smoke marijuana.
On a recent appearance on BJ Penn Radio, Riddle discussed the UFC's prejudice against marijuana users and whether or not he will stop taking his medicine just so he can compete against the greatest fighters in the world.
"It does bother me, for some reason the UFC hates people who smoke weed. The whole MMA industry for some reason hates people that smoke marijuana. I don't know why, I keep to myself for the most part. I smoke weed and I fight. Usually, I put on exciting fights or I dominate people. I always go out there and fight. It's stupid that I got fired over a plant, but other people think it's stupid that I just won't stop smoking. I quit three weeks before my fight and this is what works for me. If you were me or lived with me you'd understand. I knew it might come up one day and I thought about going to talk to a lawyer, but for now I'm just trying to figure out my next step. I'm not too worried, but at the same time I just can't sleep on it. The only good thing is the athletic commission didn't suspend me because it was a UFC administered drug test. They can't suspend me so I can fight tomorrow, but I'd fail a drug test tomorrow though so I'll wait a month or so!"
Some suspect that the UFC views marijuana use as "cheating" because it unnaturally eases a fighter's mental process when he or she is facing the unbearable stress that comes with the last months or weeks leading up to a fight. But then should fighters also be penalized for using prescribed anti-depressants or other mind-altering medications in the coming weeks before a fight?
As of right now, Matt's relationship with marijuana forbids him from filling all the necessary physical requirements to fight in the UFC. Until he finds a federally legal, alternative medicine that fulfills his needs or just abandons his habit altogether, Riddle's talents will be continually overlooked because his personal life is just too taboo to be accepted by the UFC.