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Dillashaw's reign as UFC champion over after revealing 'adverse' drug test

The 33-year-old announced today that he is ‘voluntarily relinquishing’ the UFC bantamweight title.

TJ Dillashaw celebrates after defeating Cody Garbrandt in November 2017 to regain the UFC bantamweight title.
TJ Dillashaw celebrates after defeating Cody Garbrandt in November 2017 to regain the UFC bantamweight title.
Image: Jason Silva

TJ DILLASHAW’S SECOND stint as UFC bantamweight champion has come to an end.

Dillashaw released a statement on social media today, revealing that there was “an adverse finding” in a drug test stemming from his flyweight bout against Henry Cejudo in Brooklyn on 19 January.

The 33-year-old American was informed of the development by the United States Anti-Doping Agency [USADA] and the New York State Athletic Commission [NYSAC].

As a result, Dillashaw says he has decided to give up the UFC bantamweight title.

His statement reads:

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. 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 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 for the support.”

In a statement released to Ariel Helwani of ESPN, the NYSAC said Dillashaw will be issued with a $10,000 fine and a one-year suspension, retroactive to the Cejudo bout, over the use of a “prohibited” — but as yet unspecified — substance.

The meeting with Cejudo saw Dillashaw attempt to become a two-division champion by dropping down a weight class to challenge the 125-pound title-holder. However, he was defeated by the flyweight champion via TKO after 32 seconds of the first round.

In spite of that loss, Dillashaw remained the champion in the bantamweight division as that belt was not on the line in the fight against Cejudo.

He first rose to the summit of the 135-pound standings with a shock victory over Renan Barao in May 2014. After losing the title to Dominick Cruz in January 2016, Dillashaw regained the strap in November 2017 courtesy of a second-round KO of Cody Garbrandt, who he defeated again in a rematch — via first-round TKO — last August.

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Paul Dollery

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