Photo by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting.
In a sport where competitors are routinely elbowed in the face and choked unconscious (sometimes with their own limbs), the UFC's fans sure are a bunch of babies when it comes to weed.
This week Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer stated in an email that "...[Nick] Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites," after his fight at UFC 143.
UFC overlord Dana White said he was "beyond disappointed" in Diaz, and to paraphrase the hellish abyss we know as internet comments, "F**K DIAZ, YO SHULD FIRE HIS DICK 4 BEING STOOPID! NO HOMO!"
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The thing is: there is no physical advantage to smoking pot in the fight game. Maybe you will come up with a new arm bar variation, but you will immediately forget it once another Walking Dead marathon comes on.
In the U.S no one has ever overdosed on marijuana, while alcohol kills more people than crack, cocaine, and heroin, combined.
But what do we see when we turn on the UFC's reality show The Ultimate Fighter? A house stacked with angry juice, and it always ends badly: people pissing on each other, fist fights, property destruction, etc. I've never gotten high and thrown a chair through a wall...mostly because I am sitting in that chair.
I get it. Rules are rules, even when they are shitty rules. But Nick needs marijuana to treat a legit medical condition. Shit, he even has a prescription.
It's hard for the general population to accept that weed has legitimate medical effects, since the general population doesn't take their insulin in Target parking lots, or on beanbag chairs listening to Bob Marley or Tool (depending on the mood). But ADHD and Anxiety can be crippling to some people.
Have you seen Nick interviewed? The dude is not acting. He hates it and can barely maintain eye contact. And leading up to this main event with three Primetime specials airing on FX -- on top of the regular press grind -- it was the most pressure that he had ever faced.
Diaz, although known as the bad boy, is one of the healthiest fighters the UFC has on it's roster. He is a vegan, leaning towards a mostly raw, whole food, plant based diet. In his down time, what does he do? Get into bar fights? Take steroids? Rip people off in shady real estate deals? No. He competes in fucking triathlons! He doesn't put anything into his body unless it will make him healthier.
Not long ago, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was disqualified for using an illegal elbow against Matt Hamill. That is also a stupid rule, and people called it a stupid rule. The 12-6 elbow is banned like it's some sort of Dim Mak death touch, even though it's the same as other elbows. But back then people weren't screaming, "Jon Jones knows the rules! Fire him!" No. They were furious he was disqualified and had his back.
But Nick Diaz is not Jon Jones. Nick Diaz will never be on the tonight show, he won't be in a commercial, and if he did do a commercial, it would be the most awkward commercial of all time.
Nick Diaz fights. It's what he is good at. It's what we love watching him do. Nick Diaz needs help and support, not to have what he is brilliant at taken away from him.
Follow Jamie on Twitter at @jamiekilstein.