Dillashaw Discusses Failing Drug Test

Former two-time UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw made his first public media appearance since the announcement of his two-year suspension from MMA when he appeared on Chael Sonnen’s You’re Welcome podcast.

Dillashaw was spotted cornering teammate Juan Archuleta for his Bellator 222 fight with Eduardo Dantas. Dillashaw admitted it has been hard to be out in the public, especially in the MMA world.

“It’s hard not to hate yourself a little bit,” Dillashaw said on the podcast. “It’s been the darkest time of my life and it’s been the best. I have a 17-month old son and that’s been a great distraction for me. Thank goodness for him, you know, because it’s been tough for me, man. It’s been tough for me to be downstairs with Juan and show my face. It’s been a tough go.”

Dillashaw was flagged for a USADA violation in March, and in turn, he surrendered the UFC Bantamweight Championship. The violation occurred around the time of his challenge of flyweight champ Henry Cejudo, which saw Dillashaw knocked out in 32 seconds in the main event of UFC Brooklyn. As it turned out, Dillashaw tested positive for EPO.

Dillashaw said he doesn’t regret taking the substance, as his body was beginning to shut down six weeks prior to the fight and with a larger than usual weight cut to go.

“I cheated. I don’t want to runaround that — that’s why I announced it even when USADA was coming out. I didn’t want to create any excuses, I was like, ‘Look, this was it,'” Dillashaw said. “I did it, I want to be up front with you guys. I didn’t want to create any excuses about why I did it. I knew eventually I would talk about it and this is now, this is the first time I have,” Dillashaw said.

“I was so into doing something that was never done before. Not the two champs, obviously I wanted that more than anything, I wanted to prove I was the best in the world, but it was also to drop down to that weight class. I’m a lean 135er. I wanted to drop the weight class to go to the 125’s, and I played it off on how easy it was going to be. ‘I can do this, no problem, I always cut weight.’ I pushed my body to the extreme. About six weeks out, my body started to crash it started to get tired. I started feeling like I didn’t wanna wake up for practice.”

Dillashaw said he took the banned substance Procrit after noticing his hematocrit level — the ratio of the volume of red blood cells to the total volume of blood — was down.

“It’s an anemia medication that would not only help me make the weight, but would also allow me to be myself,” Dillashaw said.

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 and I got caught.

Dillashaw will be eligible to return to the Octagon in January 2021.

Original Story: MMAFighting

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