Urijah Faber has given his take on TJ Dillashaw’s eventual return to the UFC following his shocking fall from grace in recent times.
Dillashaw’s positive test for the banned substance EPO will without a doubt be remembered as one of the most dramatic moments of the UFC’s modern era.
As the champion of the bantamweight division, TJ was well and truly in that pound-for-pound great conversation – even with his first-round knockout loss to Henry Cejudo at flyweight standing.
Now, stripped of his belt and in many ways, disgraced, Dillashaw’s reputation has taken an almighty hit – one he may never truly recover from.
His former coach Urijah Faber gave his take on his infamously competitive old friend-turned-rival – questioning whether this debacle will be enough to make him return a clean fighter.
Speaking in a recent interview with Aaron Bronsteter of TSN, Team Alpha Male’s Faber gave his take on what will happen when Dillashaw finally makes his return to the octagon in 2021.
“He’s going to be a beast. He’ll put the scientist’s cap back on and figure out how he can have an advantage. That’s the way he plays it’s one thing if people just cheat.
“It’s another thing if they cheat and they’re really intelligent about it and they work really hard and they have natural gifts and that’s the scenario here. If you’re going to be a cheat, you may as well be a cheat like that.
“Now, do I think he’ll be clean? Will there be after effects from whatever he’s been doing all these years? Probably, he’ll have made some gains on that.
“There’s no doubt that he’ll be a tough guy and people will forget about it like all the other guys who’ve been caught cheating.”
On top of this, Faber, who cornered Cody Garbrandt for both of his knockout losses to his former teammate, stressed the fact that Dillashaw’s use of PED’s has had effects that go further than the benefits he hoped to gain for himself.
“When you have somebody that cheats in a sport like this, not only is it dangerous, especially when they have a temper in practice, it’s unfair. They’re also lying because they know they are doing something deliberately underhanded. They’re also stealing from people that don’t do it, like myself, a guy like Cody Garbrandt. That’s millions of dollars, massive opportunities, that’s physical health.
“T.J.’s a master of turning himself into the victim. Like when he kind of got bought off to go and fight for Team Elevation originally – which is cool, go ahead and do that. Then when Conor called him out and called him a snake – somehow he turned that around to where he was a victim.
“He became the victim there and now he’s ‘facing the adversity of getting caught doing EPO’ which is like the height of PED use. There’s no remorse or anything, so that’s kind of hard to see, to be honest. I wish he would just come out and say, ‘Look, this is what I had. I stole, I cheated, I lied.’”
Dillashaw’s apology was interesting in many ways – most notably due to the fact that he didn’t exactly flat out admit that he intentionally ingested the substance he tested positive for.
Overall it was quite vague but with a lengthy suspension still in front of him, only time will tell how the former two-time bantamweight champion rebounds from this career-defining setback.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena