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TJ Dillashaw Admits He Cheated in Interview With Chael Sonnen, Promises to Become Champion Again

June 15, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
TJ Dillashaw T.J. Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt UFC, Joe Rogan

In an interview with former UFC title contender and the now-retired fighter Chael Sonnen, former two-time UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw admitted that he cheated and took a banned substance. As previously reported, the former UFC champion was suspended two years by the US Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive for EPO, a prohibited substance used in blood doping for conditioning purposes. Below is a video and some highlights for the interview.

TJ Dillashaw on his cheating: “First and foremost, I cheated, right? I don’t want to run around that. Even when I announced it, when you saw I was coming out, I didn’t want to like make excuses. This is it. I did it. I wanted to be upfront with you guys. I didn’t want to create any excuses why I did it. I knew eventually I would talk about it. And this is now the first time I have. I was so into doing something that’s 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 it was also to drop [into] that weight class. I’m a lean 135’er. I wanted to drop that weight class into 125, and I played it off on how easy it was going to be. ‘Aw, I can do it no problem. I did this. I always cut weight.'”

TJ Dillashaw on pushing his body too hard: “I pushed my body to the extreme. You know, about six weeks out, my body started to crash. It started get tired. I started feeling like I didn’t want to wake up for practice. My hematocrit was crashing. I test everything. I test my hair for toxins. I test my saliva for hormone levels. I want to be the most optimal athlete I possibly can. I started crashing, and I tested my hematocrit, I was down in the 30s, which I normally walk around like a 45, you know? I was down in the 30s — high 30s, but on the verge of becoming anemic. I decided to take something I knew I wasn’t allowed to take. It’s called ProCrit. It is an anemia medication that would help me not only make the weight, but be myself. I’m not mad I did it because I don’t think I could’ve taken the fight. I’m obviously gonna own up that I cheated. I got caught. It’s a rough one man. It’s hard not to hate yourself a little bit. But to — I dunno — it’s a tough one.”

Dillashaw on what hurts him the most about it: “What hurts even more is my wife having to deal with it, my coaches that had no idea, that had nothing to do with it. Sam Calavitta got so much backlash because, obviously, he’s my strength and conditioning coach. He does all this testing and all this s***, I wasn’t going to bring this to him. This is something that I decided to do on my own. I trusted in the wrong people. I wanted something so bad that I was willing to — and the real s***ty part, I’m not creating an excuse, I f***ed up, I did it, is the fact that I never took my body to anything that was un-normal. Like I said, I walk around about 45. The highest I ever got my my hematocrit level back to was 46. You know, it wasn’t like I was above natural levels. The highest the human body can even go naturally is 50.”

Dillashaw promising to return and win the UFC title again: “Like I said, I’ve got thick skin. I’ve learned to have thicker skin throughout my fighting career now, and I will come back and I will be champion again. I will make you that promise. And not because of the fact that I need to prove myself to everyone else, but I want to do it for me and my family because that’s probably the hardest thing is that my family’s had to deal with this. My coaches have had to deal with this, and I want to do it for them as well.”

Dillashaw failed a test that was taken on January 18 before his UFC on ESPN+ 1 title bout against Henry Cejudo for Cejudo’s flyweight title. Dillashaw lost the fight by knockout in the first round. He later vacated his UFC bantamweight title after failing his drug test. That title has since been won by Cejudo after he beat Marlon Moraes last weekend at UFC 238.

If using any of the above quotes, please credit You’re Welcome! With Chael Sonnen, with a h/t to for the transcript.”