UFC: UP IN SMOKE? HOW MANY TOKES IS OVER THE LINE?

Rules are made to be broken. Of course it helps to at least understand the rule to break it.

The UFC is to be commended for its flexibility in lessening the tolerance of marijuana use among its fighters, it would appear. Perhaps weed isn’t a performance enhancer and this isn’t the debate. Nor is this a morality debate on whether this is sending a message to impressionable youngsters who admire these fighters.

We are in an age where as NBA legend Charles Barkley prophetically stated over a decade ago “I am not a role model.” That seems to be the mantra of not just athletes now but most celebrities.

Whether this would’ve aided Pat Healy before his six-figure fine for using isn’t exactly clear and is, sadly for him, a moot point. Maybe he deserves some prorated suspension at the least. However, herein lies the smoky haze surrounding the new but maybe not improved rule, how much is enough or too much? When it comes down to nanograms it is inevitably coming down to confusion.

Naturally we all daily check on the unit measurement scale to be aware a nano (Gg 10(9)) is one billionth of a gram. Then how big or little of a deal is the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) stance which the UFC is gauging to up the standard by roughly 100 nanograms? Are we talking fighters can be at Cheech and Chong level? Dazed and Confused standard? Or all out Reefer Madness?

Does this whopping addition of nanos allow a fighter to toke up the day before, the day of, a week out? As it plays out not every fighter who partakes now will be all that high on this rule if they get caught with more in their system.

And that is what it all means even with the wider range, someone is going to exceed it. The new rule will be broken and then back to the measuring scale when they go a nanogram over the edge.

It seems much simpler to simply say we are allowing our fighters to use marijuana. There, that is a real rule. Smoke or don’t– but it’s an option. No nano needed.

Maybe the fans should know who is using, just like they should know who is on TRT.

“Weighing in at 185 with a record of 12-4, with 7 knockouts… and by the way he’s holding.”

Well, that doesn’t have to be a rule.

 

FINALLY, A MARQUEE RETURN OF BOXING

The fight of the year appears to be back in the ring when Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. takes on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in Las Vegas September 14. This is right out of the promoter handbook and handled perfectly by Golden Boy Promotions. This is the one boxing fans want, what the sport needs and the perfect storm setup that is projected to bring in close to if not exceeding the pay-per-view record buy of 2.525 million when Mayweather beat Oscar De La Hoya six years back.

That’s serious cash for a serious fight showing it could be the most anticipated fight since Mayweather-De La Hoya. And it retierates that for a one night PPV, boxing still rules over MMA. Of course the strong argument for MMA: are there enough premiere boxing matches that could garner a monthly PPV buy as the UFC consistently does? The answer is no.

De La Hoya obviously knows what the two biggest stars in the ring can mean when asking folks to swipe those credit cards. With Manny Pacquiao still resting up from his knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in December with the lure of the relatively untapped China market more likely in his future, there was only one other viably marketable replacement–22 year old Alvarez with his 42-0-1 30 KO mark to take on the undefeated Mayweather.  And it was ever more doubtful that a fully rested and ready Pacquiao was going to at long, long last reach any kind of deal via Bob Arum and Golden Boy to make a Mayweather fight happen anyway.

Marquee once was legitimately mentioned several times a year in boxing but in recent years they have been fewer and fewer, mostly just hype. Come September there is a real marquee event. It couldn’t come soon enough.

–Kenny Rice

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