The UFC is doing what it can to let their fighters know about a quirk in the system in the state of Illinois ahead of UFC 225. Despite WADA (and thus USADA) rules that allow fighters to have 150 ng/ml of marijuana in their system while in competition, the state of Illinois (along with Texas, and others) have a zero-tolerance policy towards it.
That means that testing for even a trace about of marijuana metabolites will get you in trouble there.
Recently, MMA Weekly posted an article stating that the UFC has sent a letter to fighters participating on the card warning them about this. Here’s an exerpt:
“Because of Illinois’ no tolerance policy for marijuana, we recommend that marijuana use be discontinued for anyone participating on the UFC 225 card between now and the event.”
There is one caveat – fighters can apply for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) for marijuana prior to the event. They need to have a valid prescription for medical marijuana, and still stay within the WADA guidelines while in competition. It is up to the state to grant these permissions, however.
These types of policies have affected at least one fighter on the UFC 225 card before. Heavyweight Curtis Blaydes, who fights Alistair Overeem on the card, tested positive for marijuana at a Houston event where he defeated Adam Milstead. Because of the zero-tolerance policy and the positive test, his bout was flipped to a No Contest and he was fined and suspended for 90 days.
UFC 225 goes down on June 9th in Chicago, and will be headlined by a middleweight title fight between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero.