Former UFC Interim Middleweight Champion Kelvin Gastelum was recently suspended nine months by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for failing a drug test, having tested positive for marijuana.
UFC fighter Brian Kelleher believes that USADA should still test fighters, but marijuana is one of those things that the organization shouldn’t be tested for.
“The way that people get caught, it’s very unfortunate, because I could’ve drank alcohol last night, and it’s out of my system the next day,” Kelleher said on the Eurobash podcast (via Peter Carroll of MMA Fighting). “It’s not like you’re drunk the next day. It’s the same thing with marijuana. I could’ve smoked two weeks ago, for sleep or recovery or whatever you use it for, and then it’s out of your system. It has zero performance enhancement any time moving forward, and you still get punished for it. I don’t agree with it. I think with PEDs, of course, they’re performance-enhancing, and you need to look for them. But with marijuana, they’re not up with the times.”
Kelleher, who competes tonight at UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira, hasn’t failed a drug test in his near-three year run in the UFC.
The fighter also wonders why USADA allows CBD, but doesn’t allow marijuana in their testing guidelines.
“They got CBD - that’s legal,” he said. “It’s part of the plant, and I know it doesn’t get you high or whatever. Everyone knows how the plant works, you feel something for an hour or whatever amount of time, and then it’s over. There’s no performance enhancement moving forward. The CBD is giving you those recovery benefits [with] the anti-inflammatory and the sleep properties it can have. It’s a natural thing, and it’s way better than taking any kind of pills in terms of side effects and stuff like that. [CBD] has enhancements and they have nothing to say about those side of things.”
UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Teixeira takes place tonight from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida with Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which streams live on ESPN+.