Two-time Former UFC champion T.J Dillashaw is Under A Microscope of USADA.
The last time he graced the octagon from inside at UFC Fight Night 143, 19th of January in 2019. Unfortunately, he failed Anti-Doping Test, so he was suspended by the USADA and could not fight for more than 2 years.
T.J (16-4-0), known as “Snake in the grass,” is going to fight the #2 ranked contender of the UFC Bantamweight division, Cory Sandhagen (14-2-0). This fight is going the be the main event of UFC on ESPN 27 on July 24. After the loss against the current champion of the division Aljo Sterling, Cory managed to win 2 fights, both via TKO.
Nevertheless, Dillashaw believes that he is ready to fight against such a tough opponent and get his title shot for the 3rd time. After failing the test, many people still think that he was not clear while fighting Cody Garbrandt, but as T.J already mentioned many times, USADA made sure that his record is well-deserved by himself.
In the interview with Brendan Shaub in “Food Truck Diaries,” he said:
“People can go say whatever they want, and more power to them, that’s the decision I made, but USADA actually put me under a microscope after I got in trouble, man”- He said- “They went back to all my fights that they ever collected my samples and retested all of them all the way back to my (Raphael) Assuncao fight after (Dominick) Cruz because they keep an A and B sample every time you get tested.”
He says that it was his decision and he already paid for it. “No matter what, it’s going to be like that. I made a mistake. That’s like USADA’s weapon to use against you, to really slander you, so no one else wants to do this sh-t. So those questions are valid because I f-cked up, I made the decision. But me being able to live with that, me owning up to it has made it f-cking easy.”
As he says, he knows that Cory is an excellent opponent. Once they were friends and sparring partners, they are now rivals, and he thinks that he has everything to beat him.
“If I thought I got somewhere because of PEDs, I wouldn’t be calling out Cory Sandhagen,” Dillashaw said. “I wouldn’t be asking for someone in the top five. I wouldn’t let it be known that I’m getting my belt back. I’m going to be a f-cking animal when I get back in the cage.”
35-years-old former UFC Champion says that he wants his belt back. However, he never lost it in the fight.
UFC offered him a fight, which was not in the top 5, but he refused the offer.
“They tried to offer me fights that weren’t top five, and I said no. I want someone top five. Dude, I’m coming back. I’m 35 years old. I want my belt back. I never lost it. I’m here to prove a point that I’m the best in the world, and what better way to do it than to get back right to the top? Cory Sandhagen is a great opponent. I trained a ton with him. He’s a great athlete, but it’s a great fight for me. Him being No. 1 contender, it’s a great fight for me to win, come back, prove my worth and get my belt back as soon as Aljamain (Sterling) and (Petr) Yan figure out their deal.”
Dillashaw says that his wrestling skills will be a big factor in his next fight. Although he managed to win against Cody via KO and TKO, he thinks that only striking will not be enough against Cory.
“Wrestling is a big factor in this,” – “Not only the fact that I can outwrestle him but that I can take the fight wherever. He’s got to respect that. You don’t respect it, and he’s going to end up on his back. He starts disrespecting my wrestling; I’m going to put him on his back from knocking him out, as well.”
He says that he can take the fight anywhere he wants. However, Cory needs to respect his wrestling and be ready for takedowns, which means that T.J’s chances in standing are increasing a lot.