Ahead of his return to the Octagon in his match-up against Anthony Pettis at UFC 241, Nathan ‘Nate’ Diaz seemed pretty relaxed about the whole thing at an open workout last night, August 14.
The 34-year-old fighter, from Stockton, hasn’t appeared in a UFC fight since 2016. Displaying his return to form at the Honda Center Arena in California, however, not only did he look in fighting form, he was so calm about it he lit up a CBD joint and shared it with the crowd.
Flexing his muscles with the joint in his mouth, Diaz passed it to his videographer, who then passed it to the crowd, much to their delight.
Nate Diaz doesn’t give a shit 😂 Here he is, 3 days out from his first fight inside the octagon for almost 3 years and he’s sparking up a joint at the open workouts 🤦🏼♂️
— Ryan Evans (@RyanEvans87) August 15, 2019
Though it’s an uncommon sight in a pre-match routine, Diaz said afterwards he was smoking cannabidiol, also known as CBD, which is not illegal according to the UFC’s anti-doping policy.
In fact, CBD is thought to help with injuries and swelling, as well as managing anxiety, and has therefore become popular among MMA fighters, as ESPN states.
Nate Diaz (@NateDiaz209) just sparked a joint at the open workouts!
— MMA mania (@mmamania) August 15, 2019
Along with his brother Nick, who’s also an MMA fighter, Nate has become well-known for his use of cannabis and its related products.
After UFC 202 and his loss to Conor McGregor in 2016, Diaz infamously vaped CBD during the post-match press conference.
Diaz was issued a public warning for cannabis use in-competition by USADA, the UFC’s anti-doping partner, though it has since changed the rules for when the in-competition window closes.
In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its list of banned substances.
However, THC and other cannabinoids over 150ng/ml are still prohibited by WADA during the in-competition window – the 24 hours before the event and until the post-fight drug test.
After the open workout event, Diaz said he was smoking a CBD joint from his and his brother’s line of products with Game Up Nutrition, adding he will save the THC for after the fight.
Dana White responded to the videos as you’d expect given the brothers’ history:
The UFC has recently inked a deal with Aurora Cannabis, and has said it will soon be testing the use of CBD with volunteer athletes at Las Vegas’ UFC Performance Institute. Nate and his brother aren’t the only fighters with CBD sponsors, as heavyweight Daniel Cormier is sponsored by CBDMD.
Nate has never tested positive for cannabis, though his brother Nick has done so three times, all in Nevada. In 2015, Nick was given a five-year suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, though this was later reduced to 18 months.
Nate Diaz will fight Anthony Pettis in the co-main event of UFC 241 on Saturday, August 17.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.