TJ Dillashaw Issues First Statement Since Being Handed Two Year Suspension

Former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw has spoken out for the first time since he was handed a two years suspension from the sport by USADA after testing positive for EPO.

“I messed up,” Dillashaw stated in an Instagram video. “Been having a hard time trying to forgive myself for this, which I should have a hard time. And I should have a hard time forgiving myself. I understand criticism and scrutiny coming my way, but what I really feel bad about is the kind of bad light I’m bringing on my coaches, my family, my teammates…they had no involvement in this, and I feel the worst for them. I got a 15-month-old son that I…I want to be a role model for him. I’m sure there’s a lot of other kids out there too, it’s tough. But I gotta man up to what I did, you know, I accepted all penalties, I didn’t try to fight this thing.

I’m gonna sit for the next two years as of January 18, 2021 until I’m allowed to come back. On the road to comeback is, I got shoulder surgery yesterday, my right shoulder, two months later I’m getting my left one done. I’ve had torn rotator cuffs and labrums for the last two-and-a-half years I’ve been dealing with, but it’ll be nice to get those healed up for a comeback. I’ve had people just tell me I should disappear, and let this stuff die out — let this thing die out for the next two years and just disappear. But I don’t think that’s the way of handling this thing…at first, showing my son that we make a mistake, face it, face it to its face, you know, and don’t run from it. Trust me, I’d love to run away and go hide in a cave for the next two years and continue to grow out this s—-y beard. [laughter]

Yeah, man, it’s been weighing on me. And I say it should. This is who I am, I’m a fighter and I have to fight my way through this one. I want to apologize to — I’ve already apologized — but I apologize to my fans, anyone I’ve let down, obviously my family, my coaches, my teammates. I can’t say sorry enough for stuff that you’re dealing with because of me. But this won’t be the end of me, I’ll be back, and I’m making a promise now that I’ll be back better, I’ll be back stronger. And I’ll prove that the hard work that I put in will allow me to come back…and not the bad decisions that I’ve made. And it’s all I can do. All I can do is to redeem myself is work hard, be better. I want to be better, and I will.”

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.