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Dominick Cruz on TJ Dillashaw’s two-year USADA suspension - ‘Not a big deal, he’ll come back even better’

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There has been no shortage of members of the mixed martial arts (MMA) community who have taken an opportunity to slam T.J. Dillashaw after he was suspended two years for EPO use, a startling revelation that “The Viper” eventually owned up to in this statement.

From former teammate-turned bitter rival Cody Garbrandt rightfully screaming, “I told you so,” to Matt Serra unleashing a verbal assault on the now-former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight champion, Dillashaw has had to hear it from all angles.

But, one man who is surprisingly taking a different approach to Dillashaw’s screw up is ex-division king Dominick Cruz. Despite their bitter past, “The Dominator” thinks the whole situation is being blown out of proportion and Dillashaw’s suspension could actually be a blessing in disguise.

“I have no attachment to T.J. Dillashaw or his decisions. He chose this. I actually feel bad for him. I think that, regardless of what I think the world thinks there is an asterisk next to him, same with Jon Jones,” Cruz said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.

“At this point, I think he is going to come back, two years really is nothing. I have been out longer than that injured and he is just going to get healthy. All that is going to happen is T.J. Dillashaw is going to take two years, raise his kid, be a good father to his son, which is better for his family. He is going to heal up and who knows what he is going to do with his off time,” he added, while saying Dillashaw will actually come back a stronger fighter in 2021.

“Who knows how much better and how much healthier he gets. Who knows if he fills in gaps. I honestly think that when T.J. Dillashaw comes back he is going to be better than he was when he left because he is going to be rested and he is going to have time for his family,” said Cruz, who says a two-year suspension really isn’t that long.

“I can tell you that a two-year suspension is really nothing. I have lost more years than that due to injury. It’s being played out as a much bigger picture than it is. If we are going to make him testing dirty for EPO this big of a deal, then what is two years? Two years isn’t anything, I don’t know why we are making this such a big deal.”

Demetrious Johnson agrees with you, Cruz.

Cruz defeated Dillashaw back in 2016 after a two-year layoff to win back the 135-pound strap. While talks of a rematch surfaced soon thereafter, it never came to be. Speaking of time off, Cruz hasn’t competed since Dec. 2016 after the latest string of injuries — which include a broken arm and bum shoulder — took him out of commission.