The NAC Agenda – Friday, January 13th – Marijuana and New Rules
Nick Diaz. Pat Healey. Matt Riddle. What do these men have in common, aside from being on the UFC roster at one point?
They have all suffered the consequences of using marijuana.
On Friday, at the very bottom of their agenda, the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) will be discussing two things: first, the removal of cannabinoids (marijuana) from their list of prohibited substances; and second, the addition of the new Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts.
On January 1, Nevada became one of eight states to legalize recreational marijuana use. This is a major step in the sport since UFC president Dana White stated in 2013 that he believed 400 of the 475 fighters on the roster use marijuana. Joe Rogan agrees with White, recently saying on his podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” that more fighters use it than don’t.
The only problem is that the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) still considers marijuana to be a performance enhancement drug. They claim that it causes muscle relaxation and reduces pain during post workout recovery, along with decreased anxiety and tension. That is like saying cryotherapy, float tank therapy, ice baths, and epsom salts are illegal because technically they do all the same things.
Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts
The NAC is also set to discuss the potential addition of the new Unified Rule of Mixed Martial Arts presented by the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combat Sports (ABC). The proposed changes would help to clarify what is to be considered a grounded opponent, institute a foul for eye pokes, and revamp MMA scoring.
It should be noted, however, that some states oppose the proposed regulations and the ABC does not have the power to enforce the changes over each commission’s jurisdiction.
For example, if Donald Cerrone fights in Vegas on Sunday and two weeks later he fights again in Jersey, he would be getting two sets of rules based on each respective commission. This is something to keep an eye out for, as it could get very confusing. It will be interesting to see the outcome of their meeting on Friday. My take? Change is good.