By now, we’ve heard from just about everyone in mixed martial arts (MMA) regarding the recent drug test suspension handed down to former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw, who tested positive for recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) in the wake of his UFC Brooklyn loss to Henry Cejudo.
One person we haven’t heard from was Dillashaw himself, likely because the disgraced ex-champion was too embarrassed to show his face. But it sounds like he’s ready to own up to his mistakes and wants the combat sports universe to know that he’ll spend his two-year timeout reflecting on his poor decisions, while also healing up from recent injuries.
From his lengthy Instagram post:
“I messed up. I have been having a hard time trying to forgive myself for this. Which I should have a hard time. I understand the criticism and scrutiny coming my way. But what I really feel bad about is the bad light bringing on to my coaches, my family and my teammates. They had no involvement in this and I feel the worst for them. I have a 15-month old son and I want to be a role model for him. As well as a lot of other kids out there too, it’s tough. But I got to man up for what I did. I accepted all penalties and I didn’t try to fight this. I am going to sit for the next two years. 2021 is when I am allowed to come back. The road to comeback is, I had shoulder surgery yesterday on my right shoulder. Two months later I am getting my left one done. I had a torn rotator cuff, labrum, for the last two and a half years and I’ve been dealing with it. It will be nice to get those healed up and come back. I have had people telling me I should just disappear and let this thing die out for the next two years. But I don’t think that’s the way to handle it. I’m coming out, showing my son that when you make a mistake face it to its face and don’t run form it. Trust me, I’d love to run away and go hide in a cave for the next two years and continue to grow out this shitty beard. It has been weighing on me, and like I said, it should. This is who I am, a fighter and I will fight my way through this one. I want to apologize to my fans and anyone I have let down. Obviously to my family and my coaches ad teammates. I can’t say sorry enough for stuff you are dealing with because of me. This won’t be the end of me and I will be back. I am making you a promise now that I will be back better and stronger and prove that all hard work that I put in is what brought me where I am at and not the bad decisions I made. All I can do to redeem myself is work hard and be better. I want to be better and I will.”
Dillashaw, who was also suspended for one year by New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC), was unsuccessful in his hasty attempt to drop down to the flyweight division to capture the crown from the 125-pound “Messenger.”
Following his departure, Cejudo has agreed to move up in weight to challenge Marlon Moraes for the vacant bantamweight strap. They’ll do the deed at the upcoming UFC 238 pay-per-view (PPV) event this June in Chicago.