T.J. Dillashaw Says He Is ‘Not Mad’ He Took EPO

Dillashaw EPO
Image Credit: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

After Henry Cejudo knocked out T.J. Dillashaw to retain his flyweight championship, a few days later it was revealed the then-bantamweight champion was flagged by USADA. There, he was suspended for two years, and now, speaking to Chael Sonnen on his podcast, Dillashaw opened up why he took EPO.

“I’ve hidden out, I haven’t done any interviews, I haven’t done – I’ve just kind of hidden away from – there’s things I’ve been wanting to say, but I didn’t, because I don’t want to create any excuses,” Dillashaw said (h/t Lowkick MMA). “Let’s start off, first and foremost, I cheated. I don’t want to run around that, that’s why even I announced it when USADA was coming out. I didn’t want to create excuses.

“It was like, look, this is it, I did it, I want to be upfront with you guys. I didn’t want to create any excuses of why I did it, I knew eventually I would talk about it, and this is now, it’s the first time I have. I was so into doing something that has never been done before. Not the two champs. Obviously, I wanted that more than anything, I wanted to prove I’m the best in the world, but was also to drop that weight class. I’m a lean 135’er. I wanted to drop the weight class to go to the 125s, and I played it off to how easy it was going to be. “I can do this, no problem, I always cut weight.”

“And I pushed my body to the extreme. About six weeks out, my body started to crash, I started to get tired, I started feeling I didn’t want to wake up for practice. I test everything. I test my hair for toxins, I test my saliva for hormone levels – I want to be the most optimized athlete I possibly can. And I started crashing.”

T.J. Dillashaw then explains why he took it, where he says it was all part of his weight cut. Without it, he wouldn’t have been able to take the fight.

“I decided to take something I knew I wasn’t allowed to take,” Dillashaw admitted. “It’s called Procrit, it’s an anemia medication that would help me, not only make the weight, but be myself. And, you know, I’m not mad I did it, because I don’t think I could’ve taken the fight. I’m obviously going to own up that I cheated, I got caught – it’s a rough one man. It’s hard not to hate yourself a little bit. To – I don’t know. It’s a tough one.”