Former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw has opened up on his EPO usage which led to his USADA suspension from earlier this year.
Dillashaw was forced to relinquish his UFC Bantamweight Championship after being handed a two-year suspension as a result of him taking Erythropoietin (EPO). Dillashaw was widely condemned by the mixed martial arts community, but even with that being the case, he’s already looking ahead to the future and what he can do to improve upon returning to the Octagon.
During a recent interview with ESPN, Dillashaw spoke about the incident and the details behind it.
“I took an anemia medication called Procrit, which the main ingredient in it was Erythropoietin (EPO). It helps rebuild blood cells,” he said (via MMA Mania). “When you become anemic, your red blood cells start to plummet and you lose energy. I was on a super strict 1600-calorie day diet and working too hard. I pushed my body to extreme limits,”
“No excuses. I made the mistake of wanting to do something that hadn’t been done. I sold my soul to the devil and now I got to build myself back up and deal with it.”
“I was getting down to that bare minimum weight where everything was affecting me. I didn’t want to wake up and train in the morning. I had to lose a bunch more weight and I didn’t want to go to the gym, I didn’t want to run and didn’t want to do what I had to do,” he said.
Dillashaw took the substance in the lead-up to his scheduled UFC Flyweight Championship bout against Henry Cejudo — a fight which saw him get finished via TKO in 32 seconds. Cejudo has gone on to claim the Bantamweight Championship, whereas TJ Dillashaw will continue to sit out until he’s eligible to return.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 11/25/2019.