As constraints on cannabis continue to decline, its usage is only increasing among mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters. According to a poll conducted by The Athletic that surveyed 170 fighters, nearly half — or 49.5 percent — revealed they use marijuana for rehabilitation or recreational purposes. In addition, 4.6 percent used marijuana in the past but don’t anymore, while 76.5 percent of fighters also revealed they have used cannabidiol (CBD). However, there are still marijuana guidelines that fighters must follow. And, both Tim Elliot and Jamahal Hill didn’t follow those rules, and will now face suspensions.
Elliot and Hill Suspended By UFC For Weed Usage
Fighters are not allowed to use marijuana for any reason while in competition. As far as the UFC drug test policy goes, fighters are only punished for usage during the in-competition window under the WADA Code. Furthermore, the UFC does not ban the use of marijuana or recreational drug usage while is a fighter is out of competition.
Both Elliot and Hill tested positive during their matchups at the UFC’s Apex Center. Elliot suffered a second-round submission loss to Brandon Royval. Though Hill TKO’d Klidson Abreu during the prelims, and it only took him one round to do so.
Due to their consumption, both fighters have temporarily been suspended by the UFC. However, it’s yet to be determined at how long the suspensions will last. In the past, we’ve seen fighters get as little as six-month suspensions for first offenses.
Progression Towards Normalization
It’s pretty clear that marijuana has no performance-enhancing benefits when it comes to the actual fighting. More than likely, the UFC is heading towards more marijuana acceptance rather than being against it. That’s if they plan on following suit with other top sports organizations around the world.
With many proven medical benefits, and no actual performance enhancement capabilities, hopefully, the UFC can take a huge step towards the normalization of cannabis use. This way, fighters are not having their long term careers affected by these types of situations.