Nate Diaz didn’t win his epic rematch with Conor McGregor at UFC 202, but he did gain the respect of his opponent, as well as a likely third date and a lucrative payday for Saturday’s effort. However, it may be some time before we see Diaz fight again — and if so, he would have no one but himself to blame, after consuming a cannabis compound at the post-fight press conference.
The smell of marijuana was unmistakable to reporters, as was the sight of Diaz puffing on a vape pen. He explained that it contained Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, one of 113 active cannabinoids in cannabis, and one considered by many to have therapeutic medial effects.
“It helps with the healing process and inflammation, stuff like that,” Diaz told the media. “So you want to get these for before and after the fights, training. It’ll make your life a better place.”
CBD does not have psychoactive effects, unlike its better known fellow cannabinoid, THC. In any event, Diaz apparently felt he was in the clear, having already given his mandatory urine sample after the fight. Marijuana use is not allowed by the UFC during the “in-competition” period, six hours before and after a match.
Athletes and marijuana: A closer look
Weed news and interviews: Get podcasts of The Cannabist Show.
Subscribe to our newsletter here.
Watch The Cannabist Show.
Peruse our Cannabist-themed merchandise (T’s, hats, hoodies) at Cannabist Shop.
The company can suspend fighters for up to a year for marijuana use, and according to MMA Fighting, it could consider Diaz’s admission, made within six hours of his UFC 202 bout, tantamount to a failed test. In addition, given that the event took place in Las Vegas, the Nevada State Athletic Commission could exert its jurisdiction and levy a punishment.
A spokesman for USADA, which helps the UFC administer its drug-testing program, told MMA Fighting, “I can confirm that USADA is aware of the situation and is currently gathering information in order to determine the next appropriate steps.” Meanwhile, Diaz’s brother Nick, an accomplished MMA fighter in his own right, was not able to be in his corner Saturday because he is already under a marijuana-related suspension from the NSAC.
Nick Diaz had been given a five-year ban in September 2015 for multiple positive tests for pot. After widespread outcry, that was reduced to 18 months, plus a $100,000 fine that reportedly has not been fully paid, in January.
A few days before the fight, Nate Diaz posted what was essentially an advertisement for TRU Vape Oil pens on his Instagram account. He identified that as the product he was using at the press conference.
shout out to all the homies in the #NFL, the #Olympians in #Rio and all contact sports that are finding healthier ways to deal with their head trauma and wear and tear on their bodies by attacking thier injuries with CBD oil. Shout out to TRU for making it happen. #RioOlympics #truvapeoil #TRU truvapeoil.com @truoil
McGregor also emerged from the fight in possible need of some medical assistance and looking at a potentially lengthy absence from the Octagon. After delivering a steady series of kicks to Diaz’s right leg, which was the lefty’s forward-placed plant foot, McGregor was deemed to have a possible fracture of his left foot or ankle.
McGregor will not fight again until at least Oct. 20, and if he is not cleared by an orthopedist, he could receive a six-month medical suspension, keeping the Irishman out of action until Feb. 17. So we may see neither fighter compete until next year — or they could square off again later this year, possibly at UFC 205, the company’s highly anticipated debut event at Madison Square Garden.
Or one of them could take on a different opponent next, with UFC president Dana White insistent that McGregor needs to defend his featherweight crown or be stripped of it. The possibility of a McGregor-Floyd Mayweather mega-fight also has not entirely disappeared. In other words, stay tuned, folks.