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Racheal Blaze: Red Hot Statement On Weed, Anti-Bullying, MMA Hypocrisy.

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On February 22nd, UFC 170 takes place at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, with an exciting card of MMA action.

The event will be headlined by popular reigning bantamweight champion and movie screen bad-ass Ronda Rousey, who defends her title against Sara McMann. Appearing in the co-feature will be former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, who takes on division upstart Daniel Cormier.

One interested spectator will be Racheal Blaze, Ambassador of Combat Sports, who weighed in with me about another bantamweight on the card, Jessica "Evil" Eye, who will face Alexis Davis.

"I think she could be the one to take down Rousey," said Blaze. "She has the same type of real passion that Ronda has and the style to beat her."

But its the recent overturning of Jessica's last fight with Sara Kaufman at UFC 166 in Houston that had Blaze fired up. Her Split Decision win was changed to a No Contest by the Texas State Athletic Commission for a failed drug test.

She was subsequently fined $1,875 and put on probationary suspension for a year.

Though she will still be able to face Davis later this month, the fight community has weighed in, and much of it has been negative. So much so that many took to Twitter to bash "Evil" Eye for the use of marijuana and for being irresponsible.

Racheal thinks this is bulls***.

"Is anyone going to overturn the AFC Championship game in Denver between the Broncos and the Patriots?" demanded Blaze. "Its legal in Denver to smoke weed, and many Broncos are admitted users of pot for example. Are we to believe it gave them an unfair advantage over the Patriots?"

She wasn't done.

"You can't be a pot calling the kettle black. Its use is prevalent all through the NFL and NBA, and hasn't been known to be a performance enhancer in athletics. I'd like to hear Dr. Margaret Goodman's take on this, as I know VADA is her baby. I don't believe weed provides an unfair advantage at all. Why was Chavez Jr. basically slapped on the wrist after he tested for pot against Sergio Martinez? It is a naturally grown substance from the earth for crying out loud. Although I don't use it or advocate its use, when compared to other combat or contact sports, its use shouldn't warrant suspensions and/or fines. Now, with other states legalizing it, a line needs to be drawn."

She uh, she still wasn't done.

"What happened to Jessica, and has been happening to Jessica since this came out, is totally unfair. So many people got after her on Twitter she felt the need to shut her account down. Really? Because of something so many of these same people do?"

Citing a need for fighter's to rally behind this effort for a fair playing field, Blaze also raised concerns for how MMA is portrayed along with fighters as a whole. Though immensely popular, MMA continues to be ridiculed in the mainstream media, something Racheal perceives as "bullying".

Floyd Mayweather's infamous bashing of MMA a few years ago (see here) still resonates among many in the boxing community.

"The media has a choice to write positive stories or add to a negative one that feeds officials with enough ammunition to shut it down in each state. This is their livelihood we're talking about," added Blaze. "What goes on in that octagon is not a bar fight staged by beer drinkers. Its insulting. They are highly skilled artists in the martial and combat arts."

Already having taken the initiative to develop the youth with her Blaze Kids Racheal Blaze program, she has also teamed up with anti-bullying advocate RMA (Redemption Martial Arts Foundation) and The Academy of Hard Knocks at Fight Science, which coordinates a great youth program lead by Sam Rowe.

At stake is the future of MMA and how it will evolve in the public consciousness, something Racheal is very aware of.

"I need my fight peeps to rally together to support my efforts and the efforts of those who believe in this sport," said Blaze."We have so many larger issues going on. The fighter's health, training methods and conditions, rankings, so many things... You even have people buying black belts through corruption, who otherwise wouldn't earn them."

Turning about as red as her flaming hair when speaking, I coolly asked my very passionate partner just how far this needs to go in order to achieve desired results.

"Dana White has really done a great job with the UFC, and MMA stages beautiful events, I just want it portrayed the same way across the board," offered Blaze.

"As an advocate for the fighter, I want their images protected as well as their future. As a fan, I want it to grow and evolve. The only way it can happen is if awareness of hypocrisy is demanded by the fighters themselves. Every major sport has a players association, and I think MMA needs a defined one. Its time."

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