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‘I’ve been drugging myself for the past three years’: How Johnnie Walker found new life before UFC 279

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Johnnie Walker It hasn’t been the same for the past three years, he said in an interview with MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca. The feisty Brazilian, who returns to work on Saturday against Ion Cotilapa in UFC 279Open up about how cannabidiol (CBD) use has led to a decrease in quality of life and mental health problems.

Walker began using CDB oil while running the UFC to improve his sleep and recover from injuries after companies offering sponsorship deals approached him in the past, but it took years for him to discover that it was the cause of many of his problems.

“I had no idea, and only found out four or five months ago, that CBD contains a small amount of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), a small percentage, and I’m very allergic to THC,” Walker said. . “It gives me schizophrenia and panic attacks. I’ve been on the drug every day for the past three years and didn’t know. It’s not strong, it’s a small percentage, but my brain is very sensitive to those substances and I didn’t know.”

Walker said he’s had “two episodes” in the past years that have been due to his use of CBD.

After his fight against Thiago Santos In October 2021, Walker decided to take “ten doses” of CBD to relieve the pain caused by an ankle injury he suffered in the five-round loss decision, which made him “crazy” for several days.

He said the panic attacks got worse during a vacation trip to Thailand with his fiancée.

“I went to Thailand and the first week there I had an episode, The [CBD I used] “They had higher levels of THC,” Walker said. “It’s not a huge amount, but it’s loud enough for my brain. It took me 10 days to come back [to normal], brother. I messed up for 10 days. My fiancée had to take care of me like a baby. I wouldn’t let her get away from me, I didn’t trust anyone.

“She was giving me diazepam to sleep but I spit it, I didn’t trust her. I put diazepam in candy and ate two of them. I slept half an hour and got up and left for massage, and I went after her. I took a truck, a taxi, and I chased her. To see things, I got up and started packing my bags saying I wanted to go home, that I couldn’t stay there anymore. It was a tough episode, brother, and I knew it wasn’t normal.”

Walker said he did some research on CBD earlier this year and realized it wasn’t good for him. Now he’s sleeping “like a baby” with the help of two mental trainers and without medication, and the 30-year-old feels his mental health is finally where it should be.

“When I stopped using [CBD] I became more confident and more confident in people, I could focus on a goal and go to the gym early. My life is 100 percent better now, brother. “I’ve been numbing myself for the past three years and didn’t even know. I’m simply in better health now, headed to the right place, able to make plans and everything is going well.”

“I was arguing with my fiancé all the time, thinking a bunch of bullshit. I wasn’t acting like my true self, you know? It was affecting me so much I had no idea what it was. The more I worried, the more CBD I took, thinking that ‘This will help me calm down’, and he was numbing me even more with poison. I’m not saying [CBD] Like that for everyone, it’s good for anxiety, but not for me, who is ADHD. THC was not good [for me] I didn’t know.

“I’m back to being that guy I was. I didn’t need any of that – just rice, beans, supplements, training to eat hard and nothing else. I’m better now with all the experience I’ve had, at the level I am at.” I’m fighting the best player in the world and I have to take responsibility. I know it’s tough. They train as hard as me, they’re great, they’re champions in their country.”

Feels “more mature” as a man and athlete and reads more books each week – currently reading “Behind the Mask” by Tyson Fury – Walker said the past three years have been a “difficult moment” for him because “Life No” doesn’t count you when you go from nothing To success, fame, money, other countries and other opportunities.”

“We have to stumble and depend on how you handle everything around you,” he said. “I made a lot of mistakes and learned with each and every one of them. I had psychological problems for the past three years and managed to win. I am more focused now. I was always a little late in training, focused on different things, doing more strength and conditioning. Now I understand Just what I need. I’m a fighter, not a weightlifter. I focused more on martial arts this time.

He added, “It’s a daily struggle, but I’m ready, I’m happy, I’m excited, I’m back, and I’ve already won. Let’s go.”

Walker has lost four of his past five UFC fights after an impressive 3-0 start in company, and feeling better mentally can help deal with the stress of having his back against the wall.

Cutelaba is also looking forward to recovering from the loss, defeating submission in the first round to Ryan Span in May.

“If he fights Cutelaba as he does in all his fights, I will drive him out,” Walker said. “I’ll catch him through a counter or set up some traps for him, make him miss a punch and when he does, it’s going to be ugly. If he takes me down, he won’t have jiu-jitsu for me. His jiu-jitsu isn’t tight enough and he won’t be able to hold me there, and I can serve him.” .but the plan is to overthrow him.”

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