Disgraced former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw has spoken in an interview for the first time since being served with a two-year ban after testing positive for EPO.
Dillashaw relinquished his bantamweight title in March after USADA found “adverse findings” in a test stemming from his January loss to Henry Cejudo. It was later confirmed the finding was EPO, and Dillashaw was handed a two-year ban from USADA.
Talking to ESPN about the failed drug test, Dillashaw said he only did EPO to cut weight for the fight.
“I’m not mad I did it, because I don’t think I could have taken the fight,” Dillashaw said. “I’m obviously gonna own up that I cheated, I got caught. It’s a rough one, man. It’s hard not to hate yourself a little bit.”
Fighting at bantamweight for the whole of his MMA career, the fight with Cejudo was Dillashaw’s debut at 125-pounds. He admitted that he took EPO, claiming his body crashed about six weeks out from the title fight.
“I pushed my body to the extreme,” Dillashaw said. “About six weeks out, my body started to crash, it started to get tired. I started feeling like I didn’t want to get up for practice.
“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 it was also to drop that weight class. I’m a lean 135er, I wanted to drop the weight class to go 125s and I played it off on how easy it was gonna be.”
When he is eligible to return to the UFC, Dillashaw will be just shy of his 35th birthday. Two years away from the sport hasn’t shifted the former champ’s mindset, and he is looking forward to writing a comeback story when he returns.
“Who doesn’t like a good comeback story?” Dillashaw said. “Love me or hate me, it’s gonna be a great comeback story.”