UFC welterweight Niko Price faces six months on the sidelines due to a positive test for marijuana in the aftermath of his fight with Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in September.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission handed down the punishment on Tuesday. Price has also been fined $8500 and his draw with Cerrone has been overturned – it has now been declared a no-contest.

Price took to social media to react to the news and thank fans for their support, he wrote.

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“Thank you all for the kind words. I’ll be back and ready to throw down right away after this suspension in march/April @ufc @seanshelby #ufc”

In June a report found that almost half of UFC fighters use marijuana which is now legal in many American states including Nevada. UFC president Dana White claimed he was trying to “loosen” rules on weed after several fighters including Price received suspensions for testing positive for the drug.

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“I didn’t even know (about Price being suspended). We’ve been working on (changing the marijuana rules) for a long time,” White said. “I’m surprised that actually happened. They must have been way over the threshold then. I didn’t even know,” White said.

“I don’t think you can’t test,” White added. “When you’re in-competition you have to test these guys. You can’t let somebody go into the ring high. It just can’t happen, you know? So yeah. I don’t know what to do with that. But we’re trying to, you know, what’s the word I’m looking for, we’re trying to loosen it up. But at the same time, you can’t have guys showing up high.”

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Unfortunately for Price those changes haven’t come about fast enough. He will now have to give up a significant piece of his fight purse, sit out for some of 2021 and see one of the biggest results of his career overturned.

Do you think Niko Price has been harshly treated by the NSAC?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.