UFC lightweight Pat Healy (29-16 MMA, 0-1 UFC) today issued a statement to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) in which he apologized for testing positive for marijuana following an upset win over Jim Miller (22-4 MMA, 11-3 UFC) at UFC 159.
The UFC declined to comment on the matter, and the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, which oversaw the event, does not release the names of those who test positive for banned substances following an event. But a Healy representative told MMAjunkie.com that the fighter was suspended for 90 days by the commission and his win will be overturned to a no contest.
In his statement, Healy took full responsibility for the positive test.
“I would like to start off by apologizing to the UFC, Jim Miller, the MMA community, its fans, my family, teammates and coaches for my positive testing for marijuana after my UFC 159 fight with Jim Miller,” he stated. “I was fully aware of the UFC and state commission’s drug policies and made poor life choices.
“I stand behind the UFC and state commission’s disciplinary actions. I support efforts to make MMA (and sports) a clean, safe and fair place to compete.
“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 make a conscious effort to be a better role model within the MMA community.”
Repeated attempts to contact the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board were unsuccessful. But Phil Claud, Healy’s trainer at Sports Lab in Portland, Ore., said the fighter was notified on Saturday by the New Jersey commission about his suspension and win being overturned.
“I’ve been coaching for a long time, and I’ve never had an athlete test positive on any level,” said Claud. “I have to do a lot of soul searching on my side. It affects me personally and every athlete at Sports Lab. But I believe Pat made a mistake. I believe we beat one of the best fighters in the UFC; I don’t believe the marijuana had any influence on the result of the bout. At the end of the day, I believe in Pat. I’m going to follow my gut and continue to support him.”
Claud said Healy told him that he used the drug one month prior to the bout while spending time with old friends.
Healy, 29, submitted Miller in the third round of their April 27 bout, which served on the pay-per-view main card of the event. UFC 159 took place at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The impressive performance won Healy dual bonuses for “Fight of the Night” and “Submission of the Night,” which put another $130,000 in disclosed pay in his pocket.
The UFC recently changed its policy to withhold fight-night bonuses until drug testing results are released, so it’s possible Healy’s bonus could be taken back.
It was Healy’s seventh consecutive win, as well, and followed a successful run in the now-defunct Strikeforce.
Mike Constantino, Miller’s manager, declined comment until the UFC confirms the suspension.
For complete coverage of UFC 159, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.