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Nate Diaz and cannabis in mixed martial arts


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This week, UFC superstar Nate Diaz lit up a joint live at a pre-fight workout in Annaheim.


The moment went viral across social media, with clips showing Diaz drag at the CBD joint, then hand it to fans so they could join in. Though the Wednesday spectacle was a touchpoint, it hints at the broader acceptance of CBD in the mixed martial arts arena.


According to the Coloradoan, Diaz’s roll was his own brand, called Game Up Nutrition. The open workout event at the Honda Center was part of the build up to Diaz’s fight against Anthony Pettis Saturday. [1]


“You know what’s crazy to me, the best part about this whole thing is … I got kicked out of school for fighting and selling weed. And now for a professional career I’m fighting and selling CBD,” Diaz told TSN Friday. [2]


USA Today’s “MMA Junkie” reporters tweeted Wednesday that the display at the open workout was the first of its kind, and a select group of Diaz fans were standing nearby as he passed the joint to them. [2]


Diaz has long been known in the sport as a user and supporter of marijuana and cannabis generally, which has gotten him in trouble with UFC officials and rule-makers before. CBD, however, is allowed under current rules governing drug testing and steroid use.


The World Anti-Doping Agency started allowing CBD last year, and WADA’s standards are the guidelines for the UFC. [3]


CBD has the anti-inflammatory and relaxation benefits of weed, but without the mind-altering high that comes from it.


The Saturday showdown will be Diaz’s first fight in the octagon in three years. [1]


Diaz, though known as a bad boy, isn’t the only fighter with ties to cannabis. The UFC itself has a long-standing partnership with Aurora Cannabis, and other fighters have waded into the hemp and CBD market as well. [2]


Conor McGregor, Rampage Jackson and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier all have partnerships with CBDMD. [3]


CBDMD has a partnership with Bellator MMA, one of the largest mixed martial arts companies which works closely with the UFC. [3]


Hans Molenkamp is the marketer who connected Bellator to CBDMD, and was instrumental in setting up the high-profile fighters’ sponsorships with the brand. [3]


According to Yahoo! News, Molenkamp is personally indebted to CBD for helping him to recover from serious injuries from a motor cross accident.  “The CBD oil entering into this space for me was a personal thing because I am so injured myself.” [3]


Sources

[1] https://www.coloradoan.com/story/sports/ftw/2019/08/14/nate-diaz-smoked-joint-during-ufc-241-open-workout/39961955/

[2] https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2019/08/ufc-nate-diaz-reaction-marijuana-cbd-public-opinion

[3] https://news.yahoo.com/mixed-martial-arts-leads-way-161126211.html




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