The topic of marijuana in mixed martial arts is polarizing. Some athletes openly admint to imbibing when out of competition and others have recently condemned it's use. Regardless of opinion, it is currently a banned substance by all athletic commissions in North America. UFC lightheavyweight Thiago Silva admits that he did stop smoking while his fight career is active, but disagrees that it can give you any advantage in a fight:
For Thiago Silva’s sake, he does not smoke marijuana because of his fighting career, but he sympathizes with those who do.
“You know, it’s very complicated what to say about that,” said Silva. “A lot of guys, they like to drink, you know; I don’t drink, I like to smoke. I don’t smoke any more, because I really can’t [with my career], but I used to like a lot because it helps me to relax- it’s not like a drug like everybody say[s]. So actually, it’s legal in California, you know. To be honest, I don’t think it’s fair, you know, because it doesn’t change your performance.”
Silva reiterates the sentiments of many who support the use of marijuana: it is legally prescribed in several states within the US, it is less destructive than substances like alcohol, and most importantly, it is inaccurate to label marijuana as a ‘Performance Enhancing Drug.’ Even still, Silva admits that he does not smoke marijuana now, so the fighter understands that, as long as state athletic commissions list it as a banned substance, it is something professional fighters will simply have to avoid putting into their system if they want to succeed in the cage.
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