UFC president Dana White gave former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw props for the way he handled his USADA suspension.
In 2019, Dillashaw — then the UFC bantamweight champion — made the move down to the UFC flyweight division to fight Henry Cejudo and try to win a second title. However, Dillashaw got knocked out in the first round, and to make matters worse, he was caught by USADA for performance-enhancing drugs following the fight. He then decided to vacate the UFC bantamweight title before accepting his two-year ban from the sport. Considering Dillashaw’s UFC career has been mostly full of highs, this chapter of his career was definitely a dark moment for him. However, he’s bounced back.
After returning from his suspension, Dillashaw defeated Cory Sandhagen last summer to earn the No. 1 contender spot at 135lbs and a title shot against now-UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling. The two bantamweights meet in the co-main event of this weekend’s UFC 280 pay-per-view card.
While Dillashaw’s drug suspension and the last three-plus years of his career can only be viewed as a disappointment, as far as the UFC president White is concerned, he likes how he’s handled things. Speaking to Barstool Sports in a recent interview, White praised Dillashaw for admitting what he did wrong and accepting responsibility, which is not something that is typical when fighters get caught.
“First of all, the guy is probably, and I don’t know this for a fact, but I would assume he’s one of the most tested guys in the company right now. USADA is probably all over him. But I think he made a mistake, and he handled it like a man. I’ll tell you what: We’ve had a lot of guys in the history of this company who have been busted for steroids and handled it the exact opposite way. They handled it not like men. Dillashaw did. He took it on the chin. You’ve got to respect him for that,” White said (h/t MMAjunkie.com).
Do you feel the same way that Dana White does about the way TJ Dillashaw handled his PED suspension by USADA?