Tyson Griffin failed drug test at UFC 123 raises questions on disclosure

Photo of Tyson Griffin courtesy of MMA Weekly.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) made its long-awaited return to Michigan when it stormed the Palace of Auburn Hills with its UFC 123: "Rampage vs. Machida" pay-per-view (PPV) event back on Nov. 20, 2010.

In the opening fight of the night, longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran Tyson Griffin lost a razor-thin split decision to Nik Lentz, in a bout that could have been scored either way, but ultimately fell in favor of "The Carny."

Griffin's misfortunes would not end there.

Following the event, the former lightweight would fail his post-fight drug test for Cannabinoids, be subjected to a monetary fine and serve a suspension of 100 days.

So why didn't anyone in the MMA community hear about it until today, when Bloody Elbow released this report outlining Griffin's run-in with the Michigan Unarmed Combat Commission?

That's just one of many questions Brent Brookhouse has for the powers that be, in a story that is still relevant thanks to Nick Diaz, who failed his UFC 143 post-fight drug test for marijuana, especially considering that everyone and their mother was made aware of his transgression.

The hemic articulatio cubiti further ponders:

There were already questions surrounding if Griffin would be let go following the loss, given it was his third in a row, but Dana elected to keep him and Tyson dropped to featherweight in his next bout. That move to featherweight is where a conspiracy theorist may look and think that the UFC was more than happy to have a drug test go unspoken with a fighter who was expected to be a game changer once featherweight came to the UFC.

In another strange moment during the research for this story, I contacted Stars MMA while waiting for the disciplinary action file to see if they (and Tyson) had a statement regarding the situation. Griffin's manager returned the call and was very upset on the phone that I would report on the issue. He repeatedly told me that there was no sense reporting on the story and then getting upset that I would bring something that happened multiple fights ago to light.

For a promotion which has voluntarily made positive drug tests public knowledge (Chris Leben being caught by UFC testing in England for UFC 89), why is this the second positive test for marijuana (that we know of) to have been kept out of the public eye?

For Michigan, why did they not make this information public? The public pays for the government commission to operate and pays for tickets/pay-per-views for the events, anything the commission does should be made easily accessible for the public.

And for Stars MMA, why would you not take advantage of a chance to get out in front of the story with me and offer comment? Why add another layer of resistance and mystery to a story I made clear was going to come to light?

Tyson, now a featherweight, is 1-1 since his loss at UFC 123, getting knocked clean out by Bart Palaszewski at UFC 137 last October.

The debate on whether or not marijuana is a performance enhancing drug rages on, but as of now it's currently listed as one of the many outlawed drugs of abuse and will flunk you in a post-fight drug test.

Whether it affects the outcome of a fight or not.

Anyone think the commission, and perhaps the UFC has some explaining to do? Or was this much ado about nothing? Where do you stand on today's news?

Read the commission's full report here.

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