Ultimate Fighter 5 champ Nate Diaz says you should thank him for the UFC's new commitment to studying cannabis for pain relief.
"Hey, did you see that CBD deal I got for the UFC?" Diaz asked on a recent appearance on 'Ariel Helwani's MMA Show'. "You're welcome motherfuckers!"YouTube
The deal that Diaz referred to is a multi-million dollar partnership taking place between the UFC and Aurora Cannabis - a licensed cannabis producer based in Alberta, Canada. The two are set to begin looking into how the non-intoxicating cannabis compound CBD might be used to help fighters suffering from sport-related injuries.
While Diaz admitted that he really doesn't know too much about the new deal, he probably isn't wrong to suggest that he has helped move the issue forward. In an interview with Joe Rogan, UFC Vice President of Athlete and Health Performance Jeff Novitzky claimed the US Anti-Doping Association revised their regulations around CBD because of Diaz.
"Who brought CBD to the table? Now everybody has got these CBD sponsorships," said Diaz. "Now it's in football, in basketball, and it's legal. UFC is paid out. Everybody is in the cannabis movement now cause of yo' boy."
Of course, Diaz is hardly the first professional athlete to push for cannabis reform in the sporting world. Guys like Ricky Williams, for instance, have been actively working to bring change to their sports for over a decade.
However, the massive increase of the UFC's popularity in recent years, and Diaz's high profile in the sport, means his influence shouldn't be scoffed at either.
But no matter how you feel about Diaz's boasting, the fact that the UFC is now exploring cannabis treatment options for their athletes is a welcome change.
h/t: Bloody Elbow