So Jessica Eye got caught for pot. Big deal! Eye, the UFC women’s bantamweight contender, tested positive for cannabinoids following her UFC 166 bout against Sarah Kaufman, according to a report at FOXSports.com. She was fined $1875, placed on a probationary suspension list for one year, and lost the biggest win of her career from her record. And all because she smoked a little pot. Like seriously, big deal. It’s not like she was high during the fight. She smoked a little bit of pot months out. That didn’t affect the contest at all, and it’s ridiculous she was docked the win over Kaufman for this infraction. But the rules are the rules, and unfortunately Eye broke the rules Texas set down. So she must face the music and accept her punishment, even though most would agree it’s pretty ridiculous. Still, when you think about it the punishment Eye received wasn’t even that bad when you compare it to other fighters who tested positive for cannabinoids in the past. Look at Nick Diaz — suspended a full year by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after UFC 143 and fined a large amount of his purse. Look at Pat Healy — he had his win over Jim Miller at UFC 159 overturned to a NC, was suspended 90 days, and he also lost a whopping $130,000 in life-changing FOTN and SOTN bonus money. Those punishments were extremely harsh for cannabinoids, and Eye is lucky she got off without losing as much money as Healy and Diaz did, and she’s especially lucky she wasn’t suspended and still gets to fight Alexis Davis at UFC 170. Having said all that, I do find it upsetting that fellow athletic commissions don’t have a uniform standard when it comes to punishment for cannabinoids, because it’s not fair to the fighters, and it’s pretty clear that Diaz and Healy got raw deals. Anyone that knows my opinion on the matter knows that I feel like marijuana shouldn’t be classified as a banned substance by athletic commissions, and I think it’s an absolute joke that a fighter would lose a win on their record because they had some remnants of a plant still in their system. But the rules are the rules, and in Texas a fighter cannot have cannabinoids in their system. Therefore, Eye has to accept her small punishment, and she needs to be more careful next time. As a professional athlete, Eye and other fighters have to be absolutely certain about every single thing they put in their body. In 2014, saying one drank a ‘bad shake’ is not a valid excuse. And saying you didn’t think the marijuana would stay in your system that long is also no excuse. Because, just for a little buzz, it’s just not worth it. I also think that Eye didn’t handle the situation well. On Monday afternoon, hours before the FOX reports came out, Eye appeared on The MMA Hour and said she didn’t take any sort of illegal substance. Then she was confirmed to have tested positive for marijuana. Instead of denying what happened in interviews and on Twitter, Eye should have either 1) said absolutely nothing at all, or 2) been up front about it. Fibbing about what happened looks bad on Eye, and even though I don’t condone the harassment she’s received on Twitter due to not being straight forward about things, I don’t like how she accused BloodyElbow.com‘s Brent Brookhouse of writing an erroneous report when in fact his report was correct. So I think she can learn a lot from this, and it will ultimately be good for her career. At the same time, I don’t like the fact that Eye was constantly harassed by fans on Twitter, being asked questions that she didn’t have the answers to all because of the unprofessional Texas commission. What some of the fans said were pretty disgusting, and it’s also sickening that every single little tweet she made was screen-captured by some internet nerds. In fact, she was harassed so badly that she was forced to temporarily delete her Twitter. That’s sad, and it’s further proof that people need to relax on Twitter, and realize that just because they are hiding behind a false alias and behind a computer screen doesn’t give them the opportunity to harass fighters. Anyways, I’m glad we still get to see Eye fight next weekend at UFC 170, even though it’s clear she faces some distractions heading into the bout. As far as this whole situation goes, hopefully everyone — Eye, the Texas State Athletic Commission, the fans, the other fighters, journalists — learns someone from it and in the future something like this is handled in a better way. But in an MMA community where negativity is constant and harassment on Twitter is all but too common, that sadly might be asking for too much.
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