Back in the day, when your first pot mentor told you about all the things that would be possible in when prohibition ended, they probably weren’t dreaming of mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters sparking joints for fans days before a big match. But hey, it’s 2019, and we live in a world where all kinds of weed happenings are possible.
Like the events of Aug. 14, 2019 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, where Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter and provocateur Nate Diaz lit up during an open workout, shadowboxed through puffs of smoke for the press, then passed the joint to the crowd, ESPN reported.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 15, 2019
The controversial fighter, once referred to as “a sound censor’s best friend,” is making his return to the Octagon for the first time in three years at UFC 241 on Aug. 17, when he’ll be facing Anthony Pettis in the co-main event.
Diaz’s career has been one of drama and public controversy over the years. He and brother Nick Diaz, also an MMA competitor , have been the key figures in a number of public outbursts and theatrical feuds, both separately and as a pair. In 2015, the brothers were banned from World Series of Fighting (WSOF) events after reportedly instigating a riotous cageside brawl with opponent Khabib Nurmagomedov at the WSOF 22 main event in Las Vegas.
In 2011, Diaz knocked opponent Donald Cerronein’s cowboy hat off his head during a press conference, and in 2008 he ended a victory against Kurt Pellegrino by flipping a double-middle finger for the cameras as he held Pellegrino in a submission hold. These are just a few examples of the Diaz family’s notoriety.
The Diaz brothers have also been the resident rebel stoners of the UFC since 2007, when Nick Diaz’s submission victory against was later ruled a no-contest after the fighter tested positive for marijuana. Nate’s joint stunt on Aug. 14 is also not his first public display of cannabis use, having hit what he claimed was a CBD vape pen at a UFC 202 post-fight press conference in 2017. For the stunt, Diaz received no more than a public warning from the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
The brothers have also branded a series of cannabidiol (CBD)-centric products under the company Game Up Nutrition, as well as a series of “recovery” prerolls designed for athletes to use after workouts. The Diaz Brothers smokes have even garnered the approval of fellow celebrity cannabis entrepreneur Willie Nelson, according to SB Nation’s MMA Mania.
It was one of Diaz’s own CBD joints that the fighter claimed to have smoked during the open workout on Aug. 14, and it shield the fighter from any repercussions, according to updated regulations. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its banned substances list in 2018. THC and other cannabinoids found over a threshold of 150 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) are still prohibited within the in-competition window of a fight, defined by the UFC as 24 hours before the event until after a post-fight drug test, according to an ESPN report.
#NateDiaz : sparks up joint
Every UFC fan: pic.twitter.com/ZCNSpHN35V
— ATTITUDE ERA MMA (@MikeRageQuits) August 15, 2019
If the joint Diaz sparked on Wednesday was indeed a high-CBD variety, he’ll likely be in the clear for the post-fight drug test come Saturday night. Still, the fighter’s public pro-pot display on Wednesday remains consistent with his typical mode of causing a scene and, in the words of one Twitter user, “giving zero fucks” about it.
Nate Diaz gives zero fucks pic.twitter.com/86y2Yz4s7Q
— Gump Cathcart (@bubbagumpino) August 15, 2019
Feature image: Ahead of the UFC 241 bout set for Aug. 17, 2019, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, co-main event competitor Nate Diaz smoked a joint during a press conference Aug. 14, shadowboxed in smoke plumes, and passed the joint to the crowd in attendance. (Andre Luiz Moreira/Shutterstock.com)
Andy Andersen is a writer at Weedmaps with a bachelor’s degree in English and German Studies. When he’s not working on useful, engaging content for the cannabis sphere, Andy can be found devouring and writing about movies, music, and literature. His happy place is in front of the TV with his bong and two cats, Poe and Rigby.