On Wednesday morning, UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw announced that he failed an in-competition drug test surrounding his January showdown with UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani, Cejudo has now issued a statement on this dramatic turn of events.
“I feel bad for him,” Henry Cejudo began. “Obviously, you have your exceptions out there. Some people have been wrongly accused in the past. But people like Lance Armstrong and Marion Jones, and I’ve looked up to her in the past, they have to live with the regret and the dishonesty for the rest of their lives. I honestly feel bad for them.
“I want to reserve judgement, but I also want to say I never wish to […] anyone who uses PEDs again. There’s no place for that in MMA. This isn’t baseball or basketball. This is another human being with four ounce gloves hitting another human being.”
While Henry Cejudo is clearly disappointed by this news, it’s worth noting that TJ Dillashaw is maintaining that he did not knowingly ingest a banned substance. That being said, he has vacated the bantamweight throne. He has also been suspended for one year by the New York State Athletic Commission. His USADA punishment is still forthcoming.
“To all my fans, I wanted to be the first one to let you all know that USADA and the NYSAC have informed me of an adverse finding in a test taken in my last fight,” Dillashaw wrote in his own statement. “While words can’t even begin to express how disappointed I am at this time, please know that I’m working with my team to understand how this occurred and how to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Out of fairness and respect to the rest of my division, I’ve informed the UFC that I’ll be voluntarily relinquishing my title while I deal with this matter. I want thank all of you in advance for the support.”
Stay tuned for more information on this unfortunate situation, and what it all means for TJ Dillashaw and Henry Cejudo, as details emerge.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/20/2019.