Nate Diaz has never been a man of convention and so it proved once again at the UFC 241 open workouts on Wednesday.
The welterweight, who returns to the Octagon on Saturday for the first time since 2016, lit up a marijuana cigarette on stage at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Diaz, who faces Anthony Pettis in the co-main event at UFC 241, said the joint was Cannabidiol (CBD) from his own line, Game Up Nutrition, which is legal at all times.
Cannabis is legal in California, Nevada and other states for recreational use, but it remains illegal federally.
A huge fan favourite, the 30-fight veteran was warmly received, before he proceeded to casually share his smoke with some of the crowd and then walked away to shadow box.
The science is unclear on CBD, but proponents of the drug say it can help with pain, inflammation and anxiety, which is why it has become extremely popular in mixed martial arts.
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In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its banned list.
The California-native was last in action at UFC 202, when he was defeated on a majority decision verdict by Conor McGregor, who he had submitted in their first meeting earlier in 2016.
UFC president Dana White will no doubt be pleased at the publicity his card is getting and had spoke of his good relationship with Diaz earlier in the week.
“It’s funny – I did this interview the other day about Nate,” White said on BJ Penn.com. “Nate’s one of these guys that, he has this personality where it’s like he’s saying ‘f*** you’ to The Man, but he never says ‘f*** you’ to The Man. Every time I’m around Nate, he’s a good kid, and I’ve always had a good relationship with Nate, a personal relationship with Nate.”
What is CBD oil?
- CBD cannabis oil is a substance extracted from the cannabis plant by steam distillation.
- Cannabis oil is usually consumed orally, and has a very distinct taste.
- Science says it can help with pain, inflammation and anxiety.
- Cannabis is legal in California, Nevada and other states for recreational use, but it remains illegal federally.
“He’s tough to deal with on the business side, but personally he’s a good guy,” White said. “And whatever you want to say about the [him and brother Nick], when they say they’re gonna fight, they sign the bout agreement, and they show up and they fight. So I don’t see any problems.”
In July, the UFC and Aurora Cannabis entered into a partnership they said is expected to ‘significantly advance clinical research on the relationship between 100% hemp derived Cannabidiol (CBD) products and athlete wellness and recovery.’
“This is a ground-breaking deal, not just for the UFC but for sports and humanity in general,” White said of the eight-year deal. “When you think about this the amount of money that’s going to go into the testing and the research of this deal is going to affect our athletes, then it’s going to spill into the NFL, the NBA and soccer. And eventually into just regular people like us that workout every day or deal with chronic pain. I believe that this thing really is the future and when we see things like this we’ve always been first to dive in.”