Anne-Marie Sorvin-US PRESSWIRE
UFC welterweight Matt Riddle's suspension for marijuana usage is already over. But now that the media has gotten a hold of it, Riddle wants to defend himself from criticism. After tweeting a picture of his medical marijuana card from Nevada, he appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to further his defense. According to Riddle, he has stopped 12 days beforehand without a testing problem and he's not addicted to the drug or a 'stoner':
"The thing is, I've quit 12 days out before and didn't have a problem," he told host Ariel Helwani. "To be honest, this drug tester tested me right after the fight. I was super-dehydrated. My pee was brown. It was the pure essence of Matt Riddle. They got the concentrated Matt Riddle in a cup, and I popped."
Riddle said that he is not addicted to marijuana, and suggested that he was using it for a variety of medical reasons, including anti-anxiety and physical pain.
"I do smoke but I'm not smoking to get stoned," he said. "I'm smoking so I can finally relax, sit back and just not worry about things. People, maybe they did it in college one way, but for a guy like me, for a professional athlete that goes through what we go through, it's medicine for me. Maybe for some little stoner sitting on the couch playing XBox, for him, it's a drug. For me, it's medicine."
He went onto say that he has been considered a candidate for medical marijuana since he was 12, and actually moved to Nevada due to their medicinal laws. He also said using medical marijuana in Nevada involves a lot more than in California, and even mentions another suspended fighter in the process. You know, that one from Stockton:
Riddle said that when he moved to Nevada, he went through a process of getting fingerprinted, submitting himself to a background check and paying nearly $600 in fees.
"It's not one of those California, Nick Diaz cards where you can go into a store, pay 50 bucks and walk out," he said.
I find the whole thing hilarious myself, but that's just me. He doesn't smoke to get stoned, he smokes to relax and not worry about things? Uh, that's getting stoned! Anyway, it's not going to have a major effect on his career either way, other than having the stench of "pothead" attached to his name (and his clothes). He did disclose his usage to the commission beforehand, so it wasn't some big secret. And he's taken responsibility for the failed test and will be more vigilant in the future. So in the end, it's just another day in the wacky world of MMA.