USA TODAY: After suspension, Pat Healy ready for mind-changing UFC 165 win


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

pat-healy-11.jpg(This story appears in today’s edition of USA TODAY.)

Pat Healy has spent the last four months or so trying to make the best of a pretty bad situation.

The only problem has been, there’s really no way around turning a $130,000 negative into much of a positive. That’s how much a few puffs of pot cost Healy when a drug test after his win against Jim Miller was red-flagged because of marijuana metabolites.

Healy (29-16 MMA, 0-1 UFC) upset Miller at UFC 159 in April, and he won two $65,000 bonuses (for the night’s best submission and best fight) in the process. But when the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board announced the test came back positive for pot, the bonuses were rescinded, as was arguably the most important win of Healy’s career.

Healy returns from a 90-day suspension Saturday to face lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov (20-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) at UFC 165 in Toronto (pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET), and he’ll do so with plenty of eyes on him.

In the months since Healy’s suspension, he has, perhaps unwittingly, become the poster boy for changing attitudes about marijuana use in MMA.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission, which is considered the standard-bearer in MMA regulation, this month raised the threshold for marijuana metabolites from 50mL to 150mL. Before it was 50mL, it was as low as 15mL — leaving pretty much no room for error.

Healy said he smoked marijuana socially about a month before the fight, but he still failed the test.

“I do kind of feel like I got shot to that spot where they use my incident as the case study for the rules being changed,” Healy told USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie.com. “I do feel it’s a step in the right direction, and I don’t feel like it should be treated like a (performance- enhancing drug).

“I think you should have to stay within the rules, but with the way Nevada does it, and a few other commissions have followed suit — that’s the proper way to handle it, just focusing on things that are going to affect the outcome of the fight.”

Getting public opinion behind him hasn’t been very difficult. That seems to have fallen in line with America’s largely relaxing attitudes about marijuana use in general.

However, the UFC didn’t give Healy an easy task in his first fight back after the suspension.

Healy is a 2-1 underdog against Nurmagomedov. And like before the Miller fight, Healy thinks he’s being overlooked.

Healy, ranked No. 9 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com MMA lightweight rankings, is treating the Miller no-contest as a win and says an upset of No. 15 Nurmagomedov will open a lot of eyes and put attention on him for reasons that have nothing to do with lighting up.

“(Nurmagomedov) may not be taking me lightly, but he said he’s better than me everywhere,” Healy said. “That’s something that triggers me: ‘OK, he thinks he’s better than me everywhere. We’ll see what happens during the fight.’

“I think a good win here will definitely change people’s minds. Coupled with the last fight with Jim Miller, I don’t think they can deny I’m a top guy in the UFC.”

For complete coverage of UFC 165, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 18 days ago
  • 24 views

If there was any doubt that Chris Weidman was a deserving UFC champion, the middleweight addressed the concerns with a fabulous win over Lyoto Machida at UFC 175.Filed under: Bellator, MMA Rankings, News, UFC, WSOF more

  • 11 days ago
  • 25 views

ATLANTIC CITY – Gleison Tibau had to know he was in for a full night of work against a career grinder like Pat Healy, and he evidently came prepared.Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 11 days ago
  • 29 views

Pat Healy remains winless inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship. more

  • 11 days ago
  • 17 views

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – If you were wondering if Gleison Tibau might be a little gun-shy after getting knocked out in December, think again.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos more

  • 5 days ago
  • 49 views

In the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings, Chris Cariaso checks in at No. 11. So why is he getting a title shot with the No. 1-ranked fighter and reigning flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson?Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 16 days ago
  • 10 views

At six feet tall, Pat Healy is used to being the big guy in the cage since dropping to lightweight from welterweight four years ago. more

  • 13 days ago
  • 29 views

The end might not necessarily be approaching for Gleison Tibau’s career, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t thinking about what may be happening down the road. Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 28 days ago
  • 76 views

The worldwide leader for mixed martial arts and UFC news, MMA News, UFC Rumors, MMA Rankings, Interviews, Videos, UFC Results, and UFC Blog more

  • 28 days ago
  • 63 views

The UFC, including president Dana White, went out of its way to defend Chael Sonnen’s last drug test failure. But after the fighter-turned-TV analyst popped positive for HGH and EPO, something has to change.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC more