Kevin Croom scored an impressive 31-second submission win against Roosevelt Roberts during his UFC debut in September. However, the Nevada Athletic Commission overturned that victory to a No Contest after “The Hard-Hitting Hillbilly” tested positive for cannabis.
The 33-year-old fighter had just finished serving a four-month suspension for this infraction, as he now prepares to take on Alex Caceres this weekend. In his conversation with the media during a pre-fight scrum on Thursday, Croom says has been off the devil’s lettuce for a while now.
“I quit smoking two months ago,” said Croom as a pair of nunchucks draped down his neck and shoulders. “Just to make sure they ain’t taking shit from me this time. Garbage.”
Croom stepped in on short notice to take on Roberts and won the way he did. He says he disclosed his cannabis use to the UFC before the fight, for which he got an OK. The commission, however, stuck to their guns and imposed the sanctions, nonetheless.
“I took it on 36 hours’ notice,” he said. “I came here and I was like, ‘Hey guys, I’ve been smoking.’ UFC’s like, ‘Cool, man. No problem.’ F—ng Nevada. How can I bang a hooker here but I can’t smoke weed and fistfight? What the f—k? This is garbage, people.
“And they’re not gonna change it because this is how they’re getting paid. So, bullshit.”
In January, both the California State Athletic Commission and USADA announced some revisions on guidelines regarding recreational substances. In the case of cannabis, fighters will no longer be punished as harshly.
Croom sees these changes as a step in the right direction. But at the same time, he’s not banking on it just yet.
“I had to pay them to come out and test me. I gotta pay them a fine,” he said. “This is how they’re making money. So are they gonna change? I don’t know. Let’s hope that USADA and all that was the first domino falling. But, people like money. So we’ll see.”
Apart from the suspension, Croom paid a reduced $1,800 fine.
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