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Ex-UFC Featherweight Diego Brandao Suspended Nine Months for Marijuana Use

His promising career is now on hold all over a little bit of ganja.

by Tyler Koslow

After winning Ultimate Fighter 14 in 2011, it looked as if featherweight fighter Diego Brandao would have a promising career in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). After being cut by the UFC back in April for being charged with four felony counts, which included aggravated battery for allegedly pistol-whipping several individuals outside of a strip club in New Mexico, the Brazilian featherweight will now have to deal with the repercussions of smoking marijuana as a professional fighter.

Brandao tested positive for marijuana metabolites during an in-competition drug test at UFC 195, which took place on January 2, before Brandao was cut from competing in the UFC due to his alleged assault and battery case. On Wednesday, the Nevada Athletic Commission made the unanimous decision to suspend him from professionally fighting for nine months, meaning that Brandao will be allowed to return to competition in October 2016.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has a marijuana testing limit of 180 ng/ml, which were reportedly exceeded by Brandao. In addition to the nine month suspension, he will also be required to pay a 30% fine of his fight purse, which amounts to $10,800.

During the hearing last Monday, Brandao didn’t even show up, which influenced NAC Executive Director Bob Bennett to suggest a twelve month suspension instead. However, the Nevada Athletic Commission ultimately settled on nine months.

In Brandao’s case, it may be wise of him to cut down on the marijuana smoking for now, as he will be required to submit a clean sample before attempting to get relicensed to fight again once his suspension is up.


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Tyler Koslow is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer with an intensive focus on technology, music, pop culture, and of course, cannabis and its impending legalization.



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