Former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw went through the wringer as far as being tested by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Dillashaw is set to make his return to action next week when he takes on Cory Sandhagen in a bantamweight headliner. It will be his first fight since a first-round TKO defeat to Henry Cejudo in January 2019 where he subsequently tested positive for EPO and was handed a two-year suspension by USADA.
Ahead of his return, there has been plenty of speculation and debates as to what kind of Dillashaw shows up against Sandhagen, especially if he was a regular user of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
However, Dillashaw was attested to be clean prior to the Cejudo fight — mainly because USADA put him under a microscope.
“People can go say whatever they want about the decision I made, but USADA actually put me under a microscope when I got in trouble, man,” Dillashaw said on Food Truck Diaries. “They went back to all my fights that they ever collected my samples, retested all of them all the way back to [the Dominick Cruz fight]. Because they keep an A and B sample every time you get tested.”
Dillashaw: Owning Up Made Things Easier
While nothing suspicious was seemingly found which should provide some solace for Dillashaw in proving he wasn’t always a cheater, he acknowledges that there will be fans and critics who will always remain doubtful.
“No matter what, it’s gonna be like that,” Dillashaw said. “I made the mistake. That’s like USADA’s weapon to use against you — to really slander you so nobody else wants to do this sh*t. 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.”
All in all, Dillashaw feels if he was really got to where he is with PEDs, he certainly wouldn’t be calling for top guys without them.
“If I thought I got somewhere due to PEDs, I wouldn’t be calling out Cory Sandhagen,” the former champion added. “I wouldn’t be asking for the top five. … I’m going to be a f*cking animal when I get back in the cage.”
You can watch the interview below: