UFC heavyweight Chris Barnett may have the unfortunate distinction of being one of the last MMA fighters to ever be suspended for marijuana use in the state of Nevada.
Barnett (21-7) was handed a 4.5-month suspension by a unanimous vote at Wednesday’s Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) meeting and ordered to pay a fine and prosecution fees that amounted to $1,036.80 as a result of a positive drug test for marijuana stemming from his UFC debut against Ben Rothwell on May 22.
Barnett’s suspension is retroactive and scheduled to terminate on Oct. 6.
Barnett’s punishment comes more than two months after the NAC voted to stop punishing fighters for marijuana use, a move which mirrored rules adopted by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in regards to the UFC’s anti-doping policy. Unfortunately for Barnett, the commission’s rule change went into effect on July 7, however it did not apply to retroactive cases like the heavyweight’s.
Barnett was ultimately one of three UFC fighters to be handed down punishments for failed drug tests on Wednesday.
Fellow UFC heavyweight Rodrigo Nascimento (9-1) was issued a 6-month suspension and ordered to pay a fine and prosecution fees that amounted to $1,036.80 as a result of a drug test that indicated the presence of ritalinic acid, a metabolite of the banned stimulant methylphenidate, in relation to his July 17 bout against Alan Baudot.
Nascimento’s suspension extends until Jan. 17, 2022.
Lastly, veteran featherweight Daniel Pineda (27-14, 3 NC) was handed a 9-month suspension and ordered to pay a fine and prosecution fees that amounted to $2,554.38 as a result of a positive drug test for the banned stimulant amphetamine in relation to his June 26 bout against Andre Fili.
Pineda’s suspension expires on March 26, 2022.