Why Did USADA Suspend T.J. Dillashaw for 2 Years From UFC?

Published 07/19/2021, 7:56 AM EDT
NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 19: TJ Dillashaw reacts after his loss to Henry Cejudo in their flyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the Barclays Center on January 19, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


The former two-time UFC bantamweight champion, T.J. Dillashaw, was on his way to create history by going up against Henry Cejudo for the UFC flyweight title. However, he failed to become a two-division UFC champion. Following his failed bid at 125, the USADA suspended Dillashaw, forcing him to relinquish his bantamweight title. Here is the reason why it happened.

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The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is one of the official anti-doping testing programs for the UFC. Every UFC fighter is subject to urine and/or blood collection/s, both in and out of competition. 

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Dillashaw and Cejudo clashed on January 19, 2019, at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw. As per the USADA and UFC Anti-Doping Policy, the pair were tested for drugs and banned substances before and after their fight.

Cejudo passed the anti-doping test with flying colors. However, Dillashaw tested positive in the pre and post-fight drug tests for erythropoietin (EPO). EPO is a hormone that helps stimulate red blood cells production in the bone marrow.

As a result, Dillashaw received a two-year suspension by USADA for violating the UFC’s Anti-Doping Policy. Because of this suspension, he also had to relinquish his bantamweight title as he could no longer compete in the UFC for two years.

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When will T.J. Dillashaw return to the UFC?

Having served his two-year suspension, Dillashaw will make his UFC return in 2021. Initially, he was supposed to step inside the octagon against Cory Sandhagen on May 8, 2021. 

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Unfortunately, as Dillashaw sustained a cut over his eyebrow during training camp in the lead-up to the fight., the UFC postponed the fight. Now, this bantamweight clash between Dillashaw and Sandhagen will serve as the main event at the upcoming UFC Fight Night event (UFC Vegas 32) on July 24, 2021.

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Dillashaw will aim to make a great comeback to put himself back on the map for a title shot. However, considering the two-year layoff, it won’t be an effortless task to achieve.

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What are your thoughts on Dillashaw’s two-year suspension? Can he bounce back after a two-year layoff?

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Arman Khan

102 articles

Arman Khan is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He began following combat sports when Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor competed in 'The Money Fight' in 2017. 'The Notorious' attracted Arman to the UFC and he became an ardent fan of professional fighting as he could draw parallels with the action from his combat sports experience and break down techniques such as striking and striking defense lucidly for the casual fans.

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