Kevin Croom is not letting a no contest in his UFC debut ruin his day.
On two days’ notice, Croom earned a “Performance of the Night” bonus by submitting Roosevelt Roberts in 31 seconds back in September. Unfortunately for 33-year-old, the fight was overturned to a no contest in December after he tested positive for marijuana.
The win is no longer on his record, but Croom still received his $50,000 bonus. The fight is still a win according to him.
“[Expletive] it, I was upset for about five minutes and then I found out I was keeping my bonus, so who cares? It’s all some antics, I was smoking weed before I knew I had a fight, which was two days before,” Croom said.
“Whatever, I won, everyone knows I won, he [Roberts] knows I won, I got paid like I won, so whatever, I’ll never consider it a no contest. That fight changed my life.”
Kevin Croom moves on to the next one
The bout did alter Croom’s life in a big way. He asked the UFC for a rebooking with Alex Caceres after tapping Roberts.
The promotion delivered as “The Hard Hitting Hillbilly” takes on Caceres at UFC Fight Night 184 on Saturday, Feb. 27. Croom made it through an entire fight camp in preparation for Caceres, giving him more time to train and be more precautious.
He refuses to let another win come off his record.
“I quit smoking weed like two months ago, so that won’t happen again,” Croom said. “It is what it is and on to the next one.”
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Rules are changing
Less than a month after the Nevada State Athletic Commission [NSAC] overturned Croom’s victory, the UFC announced it will no longer punish athletes for testing positive for THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
In the end, The Missouri native said the new policy set by the UFC doesn’t matter for his next fight because he is competing in Nevada for the second-straight time. The UFC’s new policy does not affect the rules of various state athletic commissions.
“United States Anti-Doping Agency [USADA] and the UFC never had a problem with me, it’s the Nevada Athletic State Commission and I still haven’t heard anything about them changing it. So it really doesn’t matter, which is why I quit because I am not going to have anybody take this away from me,” Croom said. “I can’t believe we’re having this conversation. It blows my mind that I can bang a hooker in Vegas, but I can’t smoke weed and fist fight. That’s ridiculous to me. Especially seeing that it is legal in Nevada.”
Croom is labeling the UFC’s new anti-doping policy a step in the right direction. Either way, he is doing his part by making sure he passes his next drug test.
He earned a large pay day last time around and is only looking to earn his second-consecutive performance bonus on Saturday.
The no contest is in the past, although the extra money he received from the fight is motivating Croom to earn more bonuses.
“I am just me. I am just going to continue to be me and do what I do,” Croom said. “I am going to get my second bonus. I am a bonus spider and that’s what I am going out to prove it.”
Connor Northrup once covered municipal meetings and promised himself never again. He is now combining his passion for Mixed Martial Arts and reporting all into one.