By Danielle DeVor
Today is a disappointing day in MMA. This morning, T.J. Dillashaw (17-4) posted a distressing note to his fans on Instagram.
One would think with all the checks and crosschecks in place, fighters and their coaches would stop trying to game the system. While it is understandable that it is stressful to be at the top of such a difficult sport, doing so at the expense of your body and doing things against the rules make little sense.
The use of performance enhancing substances is not a new problem in MMA, but it seems to be one of the most enduring. A fine of $10,000 and loss of the title does not seem to be enough.
It’s unfair to Henry Cejudo, who faced Dillishaw in the flyweight title fight on Jan 19, 2019. The possible future rematches meant more money. Now, Cejudo has to change his game plan.
In the words of Cejudo’s coach, Eric Albarracin, “… I hope it was a mistake or contamination for [Dillashaw’s] sake because that’s a hell of a drop from glory, from chasing the pound-for-pound status with two belts to losing it all. He has a family to support, and I wish that on no one. Can only wait to see what USADA’s final determination is.”
Dillashaw had held the bantamweight title since November 2017, when he won against Cody Garbrandt via second-round knockout at UFC 217, and then defended the bantamweight title against Garbrandt at UFC 227 in August 2018 by knocking out Garbrandt in the first round. Most recently, he fought in January at UFC Fight Night 143, where he tried to become a two-division champion against flyweight champ Henry Cejudo. That fight ended in a 32-second knockout loss.