TJ Dillashaw opens up on decision to cheat

TJ Dillashaw
Image: TJ Dillashaw on Instagram

Earlier this year, news broke that UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw had tested positive for the injectable-only banned substance EPO. Dillashaw was stripped of his title, and suspended for two years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for this crime.

Though he quickly admitted to his mistakes on social media, Dillashaw has been quite quiet since this unfortunate news surfaced. Speaking on Chael Sonnen’s You’re Welcome podcast, however, the former bantamweight champion opened up on the ordeal in a way that he has not done yet.

Apparently, it had a lot to do with his need to make 125 pounds for a flyweight title fight with Henry Cejudo.

See what TJ Dillashaw had to say below (transcript via LowKickMMA):

“I’ve hidden out, I haven’t done any interviews, I haven’t done – I’ve just kind of hidden away from – there’s things I’ve been wanting to say, but I didn’t, because I don’t want to create any excuses,” TJ Dillashaw said. “Let’s start off, first and foremost, I cheated. I don’t want to run around that, that’s why even I announced it when USADA was coming out. I didn’t want to create excuses.

It was like, look, this is it, I did it, I want to be upfront with you guys. I didn’t want to create any excuses of why I did it, I knew eventually I would talk about it, and this is now, it’s the first time I have. I was so into doing something that has never been done before. Not the two champs. Obviously, I wanted that more than anything, I wanted to prove I’m the best in the world, but was also to drop that weight class. I’m a lean 135’er. I wanted to drop the weight class to go to the 125s, and I played it off to how easy it was going to be. ‘I can do this, no problem, I always cut weight.’

And I pushed my body to the extreme. About six weeks out, my body started to crash, I started to get tired, I started feeling I didn’t want to wake up for practice. I test everything. I test my hair for toxins, I test my saliva for hormone levels – I want to be the most optimized athlete I possibly can. And I started crashing.

“I decided to take something I knew I wasn’t allowed to take,” TJ Dillashaw concluded. “It’s called Procrit, it’s an anemia medication that would help me, not only make the weight, but be myself. And, you know, I’m not mad I did it, because I don’t think I could’ve taken the fight. I’m obviously going to own up that I cheated, I got caught – it’s a rough one man. It’s hard not to hate yourself a little bit. To – I don’t know. It’s a tough one.”

What do you think of this explanation from TJ Dillashaw?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/14/2019.