TJ Dillashaw Admits Knowingly Taking EPO: 'I Got to Man Up to What I Did'

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIApril 12, 2019

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 19:  TJ Dillashaw reacts after his loss to Henry Cejudo in their flyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the Barclays Center on January 19, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

TJ Dillashaw had admitted to knowingly taking EPO before his title bout with Henry Cejudo in January and says he needs to "man up to what I did." 

The UFC fighter was banned for two years after testing positive for the banned substance and added that he's finding it difficult to come to terms with his actions.

"I'm having a hard time trying to forgive myself for this," he said in a video on Instagram (h/t TMZ). "Which I should have a hard time. But I got to man up to what I did. This is who I am. I'm a fighter ... and I'm gonna have to fight my way through this one."

Dillashaw's ban means he will not be eligible to fight again until January 2021, but he also vowed to return to the Octagon adding "this won't be the end of me. I'll be back."

The 33-year-old announced on Instagram (h/t Ariel Helwani at ESPN) he had voluntarily given up his UFC bantamweight title after he was informed of an "adverse finding" in his drug test.

A new bantamweight champion will be decided at UFC 238 when Cejudo takes on Marlon Moraes.

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Cejudo, who knocked out Dillashaw in 32 seconds in January, spoke about how he felt after learning of Dillashaw's positive test, per Steven Muehlhausen at Sporting News:

"The situation bothered me for about a day and a half. I felt sad. You go through these emotions. I'm a competitor, and I was playing by the rules. When somebody does something like that, there's malice to it. It's unfortunate because in baseball you are hitting a ball and going for the fences and watching the ball fly, but when it's in fighting it's completely different. I'm over it now. Things always come to light sooner or later. And TJ got his."

Dillashaw has come in for further criticism after being hit with his two-year ban. Cody Garbrandt made his feelings about his former Team Alpha Male quite clear:

Meanwhile, former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra said Dillashaw's actions were "downright disgusting," on the UFC Unfiltered podcast (h/t Sports USA).

There's also been discussion about how much his reputation has been hurt by his actions:

Dillashaw's ban means he will be 34 by the time he's eligible to return to the Octagon. Although he says he's determined to make a comeback it will be difficult for him to return to top-level action, and his legacy may also have been tainted by his ban.