clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Illinois zero-tolerance marijuana policy could put UFC 225, Bellator 198 fighters at risk

UFC 217: Oleinik v Blaydes Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Unlike most regulatory bodies that allow a specific amount of cannabis to be in the system during an in-competition test, the Illinois State Athletic Commission (ISAC) is one of the few jurisdictions that have a zero-tolerance marijuana policy. That means that the usual allowed threshold of 150 ng/ml of cannabis goes down to zero, possibly affecting fighters who are used to having a little bit of the sticky icky in their bodies.

Unfortunately for those competing on tonight’s (Sat, April 28, 2018) Bellator 198: ‘Fedor vs. Mir’ card in Rosemont, as well as fighters scheduled for UFC 225’s pay-per-view (PPV) event on June 9 in Chicago, having any trace of marijuana pop up on their in-competition tests could result in disaster.

Thank goodness this guy isn’t expected to fight.

In order to prepare its fighters for a shift in testing under ISAC rule, UFC sent a memo to all UFC 225 combatants earlier this week to warn them of the change, per a recent report by MMA Weekly.

“Because of Illinois’ no tolerance policy for marijuana, we recommend that marijuana use be discontinued for anyone participating on the UFC 225 card between now and the event,” the memo read.

As of now, heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes is the only fighter on the UFC 225 card who has previously tested positive for marijuana, seeing his 2017 TKO victory over Adam Milstead overturned to a no contest. That bout took place at UFC Fight Night 104 in Texas, which is another one of the few commissions that abides by a zero-tolerance marijuana policy.

Without universal laws and regulations stretching across the mixed martial arts (MMA) land, it’s important for fighters to understand what is and isn’t allowed under specific commissions, sort of how in-cage rules change between states as well.

We will have to wait and see if any fighters competing tonight at Bellator 198 and in June at UFC 225 fail under Illinois’ stringent policy.

Bellator 198’s main card will start at 9 p.m. ET on Paramount Network. will deliver results and play-by-play for the entirety of the Bellator MMA card, including the “Prelims” underard action that begins online at 7 p.m. ET.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania