How good are the benefits of recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO)?
Good enough that world-class mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters like TJ Dillashaw are willing to risk their careers, as well as their championship titles, to get whatever edge EPO gives them on (or leading up to) fight night.
UFC color commentator, Joe Rogan, is ready to find out firsthand.
“TJ’s an amazing fighter, but (expletive),” Rogan said on his official podcast (via MMA Junkie). “To test positive for EPO in the Henry Cejudo fight … You’ve got to think, if you’re on EPO – how much does that allow you to train extra time? How much does it allow you to recover? What is the quantifiable benefit? It must be pretty significant. … I almost want to try it.”
Dillashaw was suspended two years by United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after failing his UFC Brooklyn drug test. The governing body went back to re-test a sample from last December and that too, came back hot.
“When you get caught cheating – this stuff, there’s no way it’s not cheating,” Rogan continued. “This is just cheating. This isn’t any accident. It taints your legacy, and the guy had an amazing legacy: two-time bantamweight champion, one of the best pound-for-pound fighters.”
Fortunately for Dillashaw, who appears to have been overcome by the “demons of self doubt,” he’s still a ninja in coach Duane Ludwig’s book. As you might imagine, former bantamweight champion, Cody Garbrandt, does not share the same outlook.