Matt Riddle: 'I'm not smoking to get stoned'

by Mike Chiapetta
October 22, 2012

Matt Riddle tapped Chris Clements at UFC 149 on July 21 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, winning an extra $65,000 "Submission of the Night" performance bonus.

Nearly 90 days after the fight, the Calgary Combative Sports Commission (CCSC) announced that Riddle had been suspended for a positive test for marijuana. However, the suspension was for 90 days, and expired shortly after the announcement, as it was applied retroactively.

Shortly thereafter, the CCSC announced that the bout result had been changed to No Contest.

During an interview on Monday's MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Riddle discussed the situation.

As he tells it, he's not a stoner but an athlete trying to navigate his way through the tricky world of medical marijuana. Riddle, who claimed that he has been considered a candidate for the treatment since he was about 12 years old, said he went so far as to move to Nevada from Pennsylvania partially because the socially liberal western state has medicinal needs laws in place.

According to him, it was through that state's laws and its process that he obtained a medical marijuana license, and it was because of legitimate medical needs that he smoked the drug about 12 days before his UFC 149 fight.

"The thing is, I've quit 12 days out before and didn't have a problem. To be honest, this drug tester tested me right after the fight. I was super-dehydrated. My pee was brown. It was the pure essence of Matt Riddle. They got the concentrated Matt Riddle in a cup, and I popped."

"I do smoke but I'm not smoking to get stoned. I'm smoking so I can finally relax, sit back and just not worry about things. People, maybe they did it in college one way, but for a guy like me, for a professional athlete that goes through what we go through, it’s medicine for me. Maybe for some little stoner sitting on the couch playing XBox, for him, it's a drug. For me, it's medicine."

"It's not one of those California, Nick Diaz cards where you can go into a store, pay 50 bucks and walk out."

He said the drug makes him feel "normal," not tired, lethargic or stupid.

Riddle said he addressed the situation with Calgary commission reps, letting them know about his medical use and approval to use the drug before the test, but told them he expected to test clean since he had cut off his usage 12 days before the fight.

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