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TJ Dillashaw EPO bust and reaction

TJ Dillashaw is an American mixed martial artist (MMA) who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship UFC. His stats are 5'6" and 125 pounds and he has mostly competed in the Bantamweight division throughout his career, only recently competing as a Flyweight. He was born in 1986 and his record is 16 wins, 3 losses, and 1 no contest.


Early life

Dillashaw grew up in California and was a very good wrestler throughout high school compiling a 170-33 record. This earned him a wrestling scholarship to Cal State where he was a 3 time NCAA qualifier and ended his last year ranked 10th in the entire nation.

Martial arts

During his time in college, his coach was Mark Munoz, a UFC veteran himself, so this inspired him to join Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California. He went undefeated as an amateur and turned pro in 2010 going up against Zcar Sklavos, whom Dillashaw dominated using his honed wrestling skills to his advantage. The next year he signed with UFC and competed in an Ultimate Fighter match where he beat Matt Jaggers with a 1st round knockout. In December of 2011, he fought John Dodson in Las Vegas at the Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale losing by knockout. He would spend the next 3 years fighting numerous matches, mostly winning them and moving up the ranks.

tjdillashaw-ufc

His big rise happened in 2014, when he fought Renan Barao in the featured bout at UFC 173 for the Bantamweight championship. In a huge upset, Dillashaw dominated the match and won by knockout in the 5th round becoming the new champion. Joe Rogan would say after the match "That was the greatest performance I have ever seen in my life!" and he congratulated him on a great win. This was considered the peak of his career in terms of popularity.

Following years

Over the next several years he would have some ups and downs but built a reputation for being a sore loser when he lost and too cocky when he won. Another problem is he has stepped on a lot of toes by having a bad parting with a popular camp Team Alpha Male ran by a popular fighter, which rubbed a lot of people wrong. He has built a reputation also as a major 'shit talker' using social media and the media to bash his enemies. To make matters worse he tried to get rid of the Flyweight division to screw the lighter fighters.

USADA drug test fail

On March 20, 2019, Dillashaw announced he would forfeit his UFC Bantamweight championship after he failed a drug test following a fight with Henry Cejudo. He also was suspended by the NYSAC for 1 full year and suspended by the USADA for 2 full years. He admitted he failed his test and apologized to his fans and coaches. The compound found in his system was EPO.

Dillashaw-Cejudo

What is EPO?

EPO is short for human erythropoietin. It is produced in the kidneys and is responsible for red blood cell production, which carries oxygen to the blood. EPO is an exogenous compound which can raise your levels without getting a blood transfusion. In sports like boxing, MMA, cycling, running, etc. it is used as a form of 'blood doping' to help give the person an edge in endurance. Its growth exploded in the 1990s and was especially used in horse racing to make the horses run faster. The bad news for athletes is that it is easily detected in a urine test so athletes have been busted for using it over and over again.

EPO-bottle

Reaction

TJ Dillashaw was already known as a villain in the industry, and even though he flat out admitted his cheating and accepted a full 2-year ban, it has still enraged his haters even more and has shut up his few supporters.

Joe Rogan, who years ago congratulated him and called his performance masterful, now has said his entire legacy is tainted. He said on the JRE MMA podcast “To me, it’s a shame because I’m a T.J. fan, I think he’s a phenomenal fighter and I’m a big fan of watching him perform. But it just taints his legacy. It just does. There’s no way around it. When you get caught cheating – this stuff, there’s no way it’s not cheating. This is just cheating. This isn’t an accident. It taints your legacy, and the guy had an amazing legacy: two-time bantamweight champion, one of the best pound-for-pound fighters.”

Artem Lobov said that he should be suspended longer than just 2 years. Matt Serra said "Fuck you, TJ. This shit is bullshit!" Many fighters who lost to him previously were very upset and want those matches overturned and him to give back his winnings.

Connor McGregor who has called him a snake for many years and now has gleefully chirped about how right he was in a Twitter message that got 50K likes:

Future

Dillashaw has 2 years to think about his mistake and it will be interesting to see if he can make it back as a villain and make more money. My personal opinion is I cannot stand cheaters in sports, it should be an equal playing field. Whether you agree or not with legalizing doping, at the very least everyone should play by the rules. In this case, he is sorry ONLY because he got caught and there is no doubt he has been cheating for years and go lucky to get away with it. Pretending he is punishing himself by accepting the ban is a ruse because they were going to ban him regardless of how he felt about it!

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Steve Smi
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