Who can forget the flyweight superfight that could have been but never was: Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson vs. T.J. Dillashaw, while both fighters were at peak performance? The burden of the fight not taking place is widely placed on the shoulders of Demetrious Johnson, but Johnson always maintained it was an inability to come to financial terms with the UFC which actually prevented the bout from coming to pass.
But when the fight was originally on the table, Johnson also wanted insurance in the event that T.J. Dillashaw failed to make the 125 limit. And if Dillashaw’s explanation for what prompted him to take EPO is to be believed, helping him cut weight to make the limit, then Johnson received quite the vindication when the USADA violation was revealed. So does Johnson feel relieved that he dodged the EPO bullet?
“No, not at all,” Johnson answered in a Submission Radio interview. “Obviously, it is what it is. He got caught using a banned substance, which I was totally thrown off by it, and it’s a shame. But at the end of the day, it’s mixed martial arts.
“He’ll serve his time, two to three years of USADA. He’ll come back, compete, make money, and life will go on as usual.”
Even if Johnson had gone through with the fight against Dillashaw, this would not have been unchartered territory for Johnson, so his reaction had he learned about the EPO usage post-fight would have been the same as it had been in the past:
“That’s not the first time. I fought Ali Bagautinov, and he tested positive for EPO,” Johnson said. “So I’ve already been in that boat before. And when I found out about it, I was playing video games. And I said, ‘Ariel Helwani, I’m busy right now. This is not important.’”
Do you believe Demetrious Johnson should feel vindicated for not fighting T.J. Dillashaw?