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TJ Dillashaw’s Suspension: How Bad Is It?

Cover photo courtesy of MMA Fighting/Esther Lin

Former 2x UFC bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw is down two belts, out two years but up two good shoulders. Later this year he will have a two-year-old toddler to take care of and two years is plenty of time to grow as a man, father and champion.

A post shared by tjdillashaw (@tjdillashaw) on Jul 28, 2019 at 7:27pm PDT

When I first heard about T.J. testing positive I thought it was going to be the typical “tainted supplement” situation. Or maybe like Canelo Alvarez and Frank Mir with the “bad meat”. But, it was EPO. Epoetin injection is a man-made version of human erythropoietin. According to T.J., he used it because the drop to 125 took a toll on his body & was killing his motivation. Once popped he admitted “I cheated, I took something I knew I wasn’t supposed to”. The USADA result was in and his belt was stripped. As a T.J. fan I was bummed, I really thought he was a great champ. He also was a great coach. Season 25 of The Ultimate Fighter was my favorite season considering the other 209 boy won season 5. I thought T.J. as a coach displayed much interest, respect and encouragement for his team. These next two years will be T.J.’s chance to focus on other things besides being a champ.

A post shared by tjdillashaw (@tjdillashaw) on Aug 14, 2019 at 4:20pm PDT

These days T.J. has new gains with the Juice, “Clean Juice” to be more specific. He has opened up a clean juicery in southern California, I can’t wait to stop by when I’m in the area (I definitely want to try a power bowl). Along with his new business endeavor, the former champion balances family life and training. With a son just months away from the terrible twos, I’m sure T.J.’s wife Rebecca appreciates the family time that this suspension has provided. Hopefully T.J. Is able to use his time off similarly to ex-teammate Chad Mendes, who seems to be doing great with “Finz and Featherz”. Don’t be surprised if T.J. turns this terrible mistake into a great experience that becomes a blessing in disguise.

A post shared by tjdillashaw (@tjdillashaw) on Jul 22, 2019 at 2:35pm PDT

Two shoulder surgeries sounds like the start of a different T.J., for sure using his time-off wisely. And that’s what is necessary for a strong return. Once healed and back to full strength he could easily snatch up a belt (maybe two) in 2021-2022. Can we expect a new fight style in 2021? Will he continue training with Duane Ludwig & working with Sam Calavitta? T.J.’s legacy is nowhere near over. After these two years pass maybe he can have a third fight with Cody or even a fight against the Alpha Male himself; Urijah Faber. Urijah will be 42 when T.J. Is eligible to return, perhaps that could be the welcome back fight for T.J.? There is more than enough history between T.J. and Urijah that will make for a great fight and boy that promo would be OFF THE CHAIN.

As a result of the suspension T.J. will have the time needed to recoup, get his groove back and enjoy the success of Clean Juice. T.J. has the love from his huge fan base as well as teammates and family that can keep him encouraged. Balance will be a major key in these next two years. I think teammate Cub Swanson said it best, “we forgive you”. ■

A post shared by tjdillashaw (@tjdillashaw) on Aug 19, 2019 at 10:59am PDT

Jazz Martinez, Unknown MMA

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