On Wednesday, March 20, UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw (16-4) announced via his Instagram that he will be vacating the UFC Bantamweight Championship.
“To all my fans, I wanted to be the first one to let you know that USADA and the NYSAC have informed me of an adverse finding in a test taken for my last fight,” Dillashaw shared.
“Out of fairness and respect to the rest of my division, I’ve informed the UFC that I’ll be voluntarily relinquishing my title while I deal with this matter.”
Dillashaw last competed at UFC Fight Night 143, where he was knocked out in the first round by flyweight king Henry Cejudo (14-2). Due to the controversial finish, rumors of a rematch were circulating around the MMA community, to the dismay of flyweight and bantamweight contenders.
That rematch is now unlikely, as it looks like Dillashaw will be out for the remainder of the year investigating the issue alongside USADA. He has yet to inform the public what substance is responsible for this ‘adverse’ test.
It is now reported that Dillashaw has received a one-year suspension along with a $10,000 fine due to the use of a prohibited substance.
Breaking from the NYSAC:
The New York State Athletic Commission issued a one-year suspension and $10,000 fine to TJ Dillashaw for violations relating to use of a prohibited substance. NYSAC has no further comment at this time.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) March 20, 2019
The two-time bantamweight champion has never failed a doping test, however, he was accused of being a cheater by former teammate and bitter rival Cody Garbrandt ahead of their UFC 217 title fight in November 2017.
Raphael Assuncao also added fuel to the fire with these comments on Twitter:
Mr. Faber himself told me in person once that his former team mate abuses from substances and of course other members that we know as well.
— Raphael Assuncao (@RaphaAssuncao) March 20, 2019
You can read TJ Dillashaw’s full statement below:
“To all my fans, I wanted to be the first one to let you know that USADA and the NYSAC have informed me of an adverse finding in a test taken from my last fight. While words can’t even begin to express how disappointed I am at this time, please know that I’m working with my team to understand what has occurred and how to resolve this situation as quickly as possible. Out of fairness and respect to the rest of the my division, I’ve informed the UFC that I’ll be voluntarily relinquishing my title while I deal with this matter. I want to thank all of you in advance.”
Steven is a Mixed Martial Arts journalist and analyst from the United Kingdom.