Ronda Rousey just got rowdy at a UFC 193 press conference promoting her fight with Holly Holm in November. A member of the press asked her an unrelated question regarding her transition from Olympic athlete to MMA fighter, and after a quick response referencing the poor treatment Olympic athletes receive after dedicating years of their life to the organization, she went into what can only be described as a rant on the bullsh*t five-year suspension handed out to Nick Diaz for marijuana earlier this week. Here’s her comments in full:
“I’m sorry, I know no one asked me anything, but I have to say something. It’s so not right for him to be suspended five years for marijuana. I’m against them testing for any weed at all. It’s not a performance-enhancing drug. It has nothing to do with athletic competition, and it’s only tested for political reasons so they say, ‘Oh, it’s only for your safety so you’re not hurting yourself cuz you’re out there.’ So why don’t they test for all the other things that could possibly hurt us that we could be under the influence of while we’re out there? There’s no reason for them to be testing for weed. In athletics, the beautiful thing about it is it separates everything from politics. It shouldn’t be involved at all.
“And Nick is a close dear friend of mine so of course I’m going to defend him, but I see it’s so unfair if one person tests for steroids that could actually really hurt a person and the other person smokes a plant that makes them happy and he gets suspended for five years, where as the guy that could hurt someone and cause someone to die in there gets a slap on the wrist. It’s not fair. It’s not fair at all.”
“And you know what, it doesn’t make me a bad person for saying it, it just – I can’t believe it’s not being said more. And I really think they really should free Nick Diaz, but you know what, it’s not [UFC President] Dana [White’s] decision either. You can’t get mad at him, he has nothing to do with it. I’m sure if he had the choice he would have given him a lot less. But I don’t think marijuana should be part of the conversation at all. I think it’s an invasion of privacy for them to test for it, and they have no right.”
Boom. Mic drop. Rousey out.
Ronda touched on many of the points fans have been making over the past few days, but went even further saying marijuana testing has no place in sports and should be ended. There have been small steps towards this goal — commissions increased the allowed amount of marijuana metabolites in a test from 50ng/ml to 150ng/ml, which in theory was supposed to stop fighters from failing a test so long as they stopped smoking a week before competition. But marijuana metabolites stick around for a really long time, and levels are affected by stuff like weight loss, increased physical activity, and hydration. All three of which occur during fight week. In short, pot-smoking fighters are never 100 percent sure what their levels might be, even if they only smoke out of competition.
Some may say fighters should just stop smoking weed. But Ronda Rousey obviously feels that commissions should just stop testing for it all together. This shouldn’t be surprising for anyone who follows Ronda closely; she has admitted in her book My Fight, Your Fight to smoking marijuana and is still an occasional smoker. It’s doubtful she’d ever put herself in a situation where she might test positive, but it’s important to note that Nick Diaz may not have, either — out of the three drug tests administered to Diaz on fight night, only one came back above the legal limit.