9:55 PM ET
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Nate Diaz lit up a joint Wednesday in the middle of Honda Center ahead of Saturday night’s UFC 241.
Rather than a traditional open workout, the controversial UFC star took a few pulls of cannabis while shadowboxing in front of the hundreds of fans gathered.
A few seconds later, Diaz handed the joint to his videographer, who passed it to some fans in the front row. They took turns smoking it.
“I said pass it around,” Diaz said. “It’s good etiquette, for sure.”
It was a unique scene — one you wouldn’t see at a promotional event for most high-level professional sports. Diaz will fight Anthony Pettis in the co-main event of Saturday’s UFC 241. This was the UFC-sponsored workout for fans and media.
Diaz said afterward that he was smoking cannabidiol, better known as CBD, an extract from the cannabis plant that has no psychoactive properties. The science is unclear on CBD, but proponents of the drug say it can help with pain, inflammation and anxiety, which is why it has become extremely popular in MMA.
Diaz and his brother, Nick, also a UFC star, have been the poster boys for cannabis use in MMA. After his UFC 202 loss to Conor McGregor in 2016, Diaz famously smoked a CBD joint at the postfight news conference. USADA, the UFC’s anti-doping partner, issued him a public warning for cannabis use in-competition but has since changed its rule on when the in-competition window closes. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its banned list in 2018.
Dana White claims he did nothing special to get Nate Diaz to return to fight Anthony Pettis, because Diaz takes fights on his own terms.