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5 MMA fighters who support the usage of marijuana 

Sudhir Bose
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 07 Feb 2018, 22:19 IST

Nate Diaz smoking the "Louisiville Slugger"

Looking at a mixed martial artist, one can't help but marvel at their physique, which resembles an ancient Greek sculpture. But all those muscles and single digit fat percentage are a by-product of being put through flames and then hammered on the anvil, day in and day out.

We've heard fighters say on many occasions that training's the hardest part of fighting, not the fight itself. One cannot begin to imagine the inhuman amount of willpower that can make a fighter train as though they were thoroughbreds in a constant race.

The kind of training fighters do is to induce hypertrophy which translates to muscle building. But lifting weights, cardio, sparring and other exercises that put stress on muscles actually destroy existing muscle. With the precise rest and nutrition, the muscles that succeed them are stronger, faster and tougher. The human body wasn't meant to be battered that way but fighters don't have the luxury of lengthy rests that allow them to heal.

This is why most MMA fighters smoke marijuana. One of the compounds in marijuana, cannabidiol or CBD, has been proved to have powerful healing properties and helps alleviate pain to a certain degree. Watchdogs USADA and WADA this year removed CBD from their list of banned substances.

According to UFC hype man Joe Rogan, there are more fighters in the UFC who partake of the sacred herb than those who don't Let's take a look at some who are very vocal in their advocacy of marijuana use:

#5 Matt Riddle

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Matt Riddle with his "medicine"

Those who watched The Ultimate Fighter season 7 will find Matt Riddle hard to forget. His constant smile might have earned him the nickname "Chipper" from coach Rampage Jackson, but his fighting style was the polar opposite. His ticket into the TUF house was what Rampage called "the knockout of the century".

Despite not winning the show, Riddle was signed to the UFC, where he won his first three fights. The next few bouts brought mixed fortunes, but Riddle seemed back on track with consecutive wins against Henry Martinez and Chris Clements; that was until the second of those wins was overturned into a No Contest because he tested positive for marijuana. Seven months later, history repeated itself and Riddle was released from the UFC.

Riddle said that he smoked marijuana to help with aches and pains because he couldn't stomach painkillers. Considered an exciting fighter, Riddle didn't hold back from voicing his displeasure at being released for smoking marijuana, considering that TRT, which has since been and stayed banned, was legal at the time. Riddle is now a pro-wrestler and was voted Wrestling Observer Newsletter's "Rookie of the Year" and "Most Improved Wrestler of the Year" for 2016. With his personality and a surname like "Riddle", he didn't have to worry about a gimmick.

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Published 07 Feb 2018, 22:19 IST
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