From one of the best champions in his weight class to be considered a cheater, this has been the story of the former bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw. UFC two-division champion, Henry Cejudo defended his flyweight title against TJ Dillashaw earlier this year.
The future of the flyweight title was on the line in this fight as the entire division would have been eliminated had Cejudo lost the fight. It was a tough task for Dillashaw to drop down to 125 lbs to start with. However, he made the weight and make it to the ring to fight for the flyweight title and achieve the glory of being a two-division UFC champion. Well, the outcome of the fight did not go in the way as Cejudo won the fight early in round 1. Things got even worse for Dillashaw when he tested positive for using EPO and was suspended till January 2021.
EPO is a synthetic hormone that stimulates the body’s production of red blood cells. This increases oxygen transport and aerobic power. TJ Dillashaw accepted the suspension from USADA.
Recently TJ Dillashaw came out on Ariel Helwani’s show and talked about the dark phase that he had to go through after the suspension. Dillashaw said:
“It was a rough six months. I went through double shoulder surgery as well. Obviously down in the dumps and not being able to work out or be active and keep my mind clear. It was really tough, I am gonna be honest, mentally draining.”
Dillashaw confessed that he took the illegal substance 3-4 weeks before the fight after he was drug tested by USADA. He was supposed to lose a bunch of weight, and the low-calorie diet of 1600 calories was draining him to the point that he did not want to continue working out. That is when he decided to inject himself with EPO that made the whole process of cutting weight much easier. “I made the mistake of wanting to do something that has not been done and soul myself to the devil” continued Dillashaw.
Dillashaw is disappointed with the whole controversy and suspension. However, he is determined to make a come back as soon as his suspension gets over and he is looking to regain his title that he never lost. Dillashaw claimed:
“First and foremost it’s getting my belt back. The belt I relinquished, the belt I never lost in a fight. So whoever has that, that’s the fight I want the most. We got Jose Aldo coming down to 135, we got Frankie Edgar coming down to 135, obviously, Dominick Cruz limping around somewhere looking to get into. So it’s a super exciting stuff man. I have to reclaim my name, get back on the top and prove I am the best bantamweight of all time.”
Currently, Henry Cejudo is the bantamweight champion after he defeated Marlon Moraes for the vacant title. It would be intriguing to see how the rematch between Cejudo and TJ Dillashaw goes down in bantamweight.