Back in April of 2019 when then-UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw was suspended by USADA for two years following a drug test failure for EPO, many in the sport where outraged. After all, a champion was blatantly flouting the rules and has even stated since then that he would have been able to justify continued use if he didn’t get caught.
Dillashaw’s suspension is just about up, and many are jockeying to the fight the former champ. One of those men is former featherweight king Jose Aldo, who called out T.J. following his win over Marlon Vera at UFC 256 this past weekend.
Later that night in a conversation with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Aldo was asked how he felt about Dillashaw’s EPO use and suspension. Somewhat surprisingly, Aldo (29-7, 11-6 UFC) just brushed it off (transcribed by BJPenn.com):
“Nothing’s changed for me. I see him for his qualities. I see him as a champion and everything that he did in the Octagon. He just made a mistake. I like him because he’s a champion, as well. He’s a big name not only for myself but for the UFC and I think the fans would like to see the fight.”
The 34-year-old Dillashaw (15-4, 12-4 UFC) can return to competition anytime after January 19th. He dropped his last fight to Henry Cejudo, but that came in a bid to win the flyweight title and become a two-division champion. He is on a four-fight win streak at 135 pounds.