It was recently announced that Aurora Cannabis (TSE: ACB) and the UFC are joining forces to study cannabidiol (CBD) and how it can be beneficial to athletes. It is a multimillion-dollar deal that will see research being led at the UFC’s Las Vegas Institute and, according to one mixed-martial arts (MMA) fighter, the deal would never have been put together if it weren’t for him.
Nate Diaz is a well-known fighter with a record of 19 wins – five by knockout – and 11 losses – one by knockout. He is also a long-time cannabis supporter, one time even appearing in a press conference toking on a vape pen with CBD oil. That was after UFC 202, which Diaz lost to Conor McGregor by majority decision after five rounds.
Speaking on a recent episode of ESPN’s Ariel Helwani MMA Show, Diaz asserted that he deserves thanks for putting the Aurora/UFC deal together. He exclaimed at one point, “Did you see that CBD deal I got for the UFC? They got a huge deal. You’re welcome motherf—ers!”
He later added, “That’s cool, but can I get my points? [Laughs]. Who brought CBD to the table? Now everybody has got these CBD sponsorships. Now it’s in football, in basketball, and it’s legal. UFC is paid out. Everybody is in the cannabis movement now cause of yo [sic] boy. I appreciate the love from the UFC, for showing who started this gangster sh*t.”
The Aurora/UFC partnership is a big deal for Aurora. Not only does it give the company immediate exposure in a hot sport, but the research implications are truly amazing. Should the two entities determine any substantial benefits of CBD use among athletes, Aurora will already be in a leading position, because of the arrangement, to take the reins and lead manufacturing and distribution. Perhaps Diaz will take credit for that, as well.