Earlier this month, the MMA world was sent into a tizzy when UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw tested positive for EPO. As a result, the 135-pound king was suspended for two years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Despite statements being issued from his teammates, coaches, and trainers, Dillashaw remained silent on the issue. However, that changed on Friday afternoon when the 33-year-old bantamweight released a video on Instagram.
TJ Dillashaw’s full statement can be read below:
“I messed up and am having a hard time trying to forgiving myself for this — which I should have a hard time. I should have a hard time forgiving myself.
“I understand the criticism and scrutiny coming my way. But what I really feel bad about is the bad light I’ve brought on my coaches, my family, my teammates. They had no involvement in this. I feel the worst for them.
“I got a 15-month-old son, who I want to be a role model for. I’m sure there’s a lot of other kids out there too. It’s tough. But I have to man up to what I did. I accepted all the penalties. I didn’t try to fight this thing. I’m going to sit for the next two years.
“As of January 18, 2021, I’m allowed to come back. The road to come back is — I had shoulder surgery yesterday on my right shoulder. Two months later, I’m getting my left one done. I had torn rotator cuffs and labrums for the last two and a half years I’ve been dealing with. It’ll be nice to get those healed up and come back.
“I’ve had people tell me I should just disappear and let this stuff die out — let this thing die out and just disappear. I don’t think that’s the way I’m handling this thing. Going at it head first. [I’m] showing my son that when you make a mistake, you face it to its face. You don’t run from it. Trust me, I’d love to run away and hide in a cave for the next two years and continue to grow out this shitty beard.
“It’s been weighing on me and like I said, it should be. This is who I am. I’m a fighter and I’ll fight my way through this one. I’d like to apologize to my fans, anyone I’ve let down, my family, my coaches, my teammates. I can’t say sorry enough for the stuff you’re dealing with because of me.
“This won’t be the end of me. I’ll be back. I’m making you a promise now that I’ll be back better. I’ll be back stronger. I’ll prove that the hard work I put into it got me to where I’m at and not the bad decisions I made. That’s all I can do. All I can do to redeem myself is work hard. Be better. I want to be better. I will.”
The full video can be seen below:
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 4/12/2019.