UFC legend Jose Aldo called TJ Dillashaw’s past drug test failures “a mistake” and says he still considers him a champion in MMA.
Dillashaw has not fought since January 2019 when he suffered a TKO loss to Henry Cejudo at UFC on ESPN+ 1. Following that fight, Dillashaw tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and he has missed the last two years of action. Next month, Dillashaw will finally be able to return to the Octagon after serving his two-year USADA suspension, and already several UFC fighters have called him out for his return.
The most notable name to call out Dillashaw thus far is Aldo. The former UFC featherweight champion got back into the win column this past Saturday with a unanimous decision win over Marlon Vera in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 17, and following the event, he used his post-fight interview as a means to call out Dillashaw.
Dillashaw is a big name in the sport and a former UFC bantamweight champion — remember, he didn’t lose his belt in the Octagon, he vacated it due to the drug test failure — so it’s not a surprise that other big names like Aldo would call him out. But with Dillashaw having tested positive for PEDS, a number of fighters such as Aljamain Sterling, don’t want to give him the time of day inside the Octagon. Not Aldo, though.
Speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Aldo said that he considers Dillashaw getting caught for PEDs “just a mistake” and says he still views him as a champion in MMA.
“Nothing’s changed for me (regarding the PED suspension). I see him for his qualities. I see him as a champion and everything that he did in the Octagon. He just made a mistake,” Aldo said.
“I like him because he’s a champion, as well. He’s a big name not only for myself but for the UFC and I think the fans would like to see the fight. I think it’s a good matchup for myself because he is also a champion.”
With Aldo coming off of a win over Vera and looking to get back to the title picture and earn a rematch with UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan, a win over a former champ like Dillashaw would certainly be another step towards the top of the 135lbs mountain. Dillashaw is a popular callout target right now, but Aldo is very much in the running to get this fight considering his legendary status and how highly the UFC views him.
Do you agree with Jose Aldo that TJ Dillashaw’s past drug test failures were “just a mistake”?