(Short version: We’re going to pretend this fight never happened, just like we’re going to pretend marijuana is a performance-enhancing drug. / Photo via MMAFighting.com)
The greatest night of Pat Healy‘s career has been retroactively changed to some old bullshit. Following his fantastic rear-naked choke victory over Jim Miller last month at UFC 159 — which earned Healy Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night awards totaling $130,000 — “Bam Bam” failed his drug test, coming up positive for marijuana. As a result, Healy’s win has been changed to a no-contest, he’s been suspended from competition from 90 days, and he’s being forced to return the aforementioned $130k in bonus money and his $5,000 win bonus.
Healy confirmed the news in an official statement:
“I would like to start off by apologizing to the UFC, Jim Miller, the MMA community, it’s fans, my family, teammates and coaches for my positive testing for marijuana after my UFC 159 fight with Jim Miller. I was fully aware of the UFC and State Commission’s drug policies and made poor life choices. I stand behind the UFC and the State Commission’s disciplinary actions. I support efforts to make MMA and sports a clean, safe and fair place to compete.
“First and foremost, I would like to acknowledge and take responsibility for my mistake. I made a very poor choice to socially use marijuana and now I must face the consequences of that choice. I can assure you that I will do everything the UFC and State Commission asks of me and beyond. I will also make a conscious effort to be a better role model within the MMA community.”
Healy joins Matt Riddle, Alex Caceres, and Robbie Peralta in the growing list of UFC fighters who have been busted for marijuana this year. But Healy’s fine/suspension/no-contest is especially tough to swallow; you just hate to see a guy work so hard in this sport for so long, and have it all taken away the moment he finally cashes in. Obviously, Healy deserves a good deal of the blame here for a truly boneheaded personal decision. But it’s absurd that smoking weed essentially carries the same penalties for MMA fighters as steroids.
Does anybody want to start a Kickstarter account so Healy can get some of that money back? I mean, as long as he promises not to buy weed with it…
UPDATE: Healy’s Submission of the Night bonus will now go to Bryan Caraway, the guy who campaigned for the bonuses to be raised from $50,000 in the first place. Nice work, Bryan.