Journey Newson has been dealt a serious blow by the state of Texas.
The mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, who thought he won his UFC 247 fight by knockout in just 38 seconds in Houston on Feb. 8, has had the win overturned by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation over a failed drug test. The official result of the bout has been changed to a no-decision.
Newson’s manager, Jason House, CEO of Iridium Sports Agency, confirmed the fighter tested positive for marijuana,
according to ESPN. He could now be subject to a fine of up to $5,000 and a suspension of no more than 90 days, per state regulations.
It would have been the first UFC victory for the 31-year-old Oregon native since joining the promotion company over a year ago. Newson was riding a six-fight winning streak before losing his debut to Ricardo Ramos last summer.
Newson now joins Curtis Blaydes and Jessica Eye in the unenviable club of fighters who have had victories overturned by Texas after failing marijuana tests, according to MMA Fighting.
Cannabis use has been a hot topic in MMA circles as many professional sports have made moves to either stop testing for the drug altogether or vastly decrease the repercussions for failing a test. Heavyweight fighter Derrick Lewis went so far as to brag about his cannabis use in the week leading up to his fight with Ilir Latifi.
After defeating Latifi at the same Houston event in February, Derrick Lewis gave a post-fight interview to Joe Rogan that might have raised some eyebrows at the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which is used by the mixed martial arts promotion company, according to Heavy.
“It was very important, that’s why 24/7 hours a week I was smoking weed,” he said after being asked how big the win was. “I will never be Joe Rogan high though in the Octagon.”
The USADA recently introduced some flexibility into its enforcement of recreational marijuana transgressions, but that probably won’t help Newson here as the fight was overturned by the state, not the drug-monitoring agency.
According to the USADA, fighters found with cannabis in their system during competition can have any potential suspension reduced if they are able to “establish by a preponderance of the evidence” that the drug did not enhance their performance. They may also be required to participate in a rehabilitation program.
Lewis’s victory has, thus far, been allowed to stand.
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