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Jessica Eye’s Denial of Positive Marijuana Test is a PR Failure of Spectacular Proportions

(via MMAFighting)

Jessica Eye had four months to come clean about testing positive for marijuana following her UFC 166 win over Sarah Kaufman, yet she chose to deny, deny, deny and has arguably found herself in a worse place because of it.

Perhaps I should back up a bit. You see, although reports initially claimed that Eye had tested positive for prescription blood thinners stemming from a car accident she was involved in some 11 years ago, it was revealed yesterday that Eye did in fact test positive for marijuana post UFC 166. This was largely unearthed by BloodyElbow’s Brent Brookehouse, who correctly pointed out that a) no athletic commission in their right mind would license a fighter on blood thinners for obvious reasons (difficulty stopping cuts, increased risk of intracranial bleeding) and b) the Texas Athletic Commission did not conduct any blood tests at UFC 166, which would have been the only way that blood thinners would show up in a post-fight test.

And so, reports began to circulate that Eye’s test was actually for marijuana (Author’s note: Called it). Eye vehemently denied these rumors on yesterday’s The MMA Hour (see above) and even went as far as to attack Brookehouse’s credibility on her now deleted Twitter account. Unfortunately for Eye, Fox Sports published a piece containing “the agreed order as handed down from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation” shortly after her MMA Hour appearance that not only proved that Eye’s test was in fact for marijuana, but that Eye had known about this and waived her right to appeal in January.

Why Eye chose to outright lie with the evidence staring her directly in the face in anyone’s guess. Surely she knew that it was only a matter of time until her tests results came to light, so what was she hoping to gain by denying the facts until the very last minute? As Ben Fowlkes stated on the most recent edition of The Co-Main Event Podcast, Eye’s “probated suspension” and measly $1,875 fine was probably the lightest an MMA fighter has ever gotten off for a positive marijuana test. There’s also the fact that, well, MMA fans and media alike don’t really give a shit about weed anymore — there’s much bigger fish to fry.

The real irony of the situation is that, had Eye simply admitted to her mistake like Pat Healy before her, most of us would have shrugged our shoulders and moved on from the situation entirely. Instead, Eye’s denial of the claims against her (and subsequent Twitter rant) made a story out of nothing and has left her in a much worse standing with fans than any failed marijuana test ever could. Not to mention the fallout that could come from Eye’s admittal to being on blood thinners, which could make it incredibly difficult for her to secure a fight license moving forward. I guess that’s why they say “the truth shall set you free” and all that.

But as it stands, Eye will still fight Alexis Davis at UFC 170, and the Texas Athletic Commission might want to look into how they handle failed drug tests. Let’s just hope that Eye’s handling of this situation will serve as a “what not to do” blueprint to the Yancy Medeiros’ of the world moving forward.

-J. Jones

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