Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

In Stunning News, Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw Has Vacated the Title After Failing a USADA Test… 

2019 has not been TJ Dillashaw’s year. He had a chance to join the ranks of the double champions when he took on flyweight king Henry Cejudo back in January. That ended with him being blitzed and the fight was quickly stopped – albeit too early in the eyes of many onlookers.

As one of the most exciting fighters on the roster, there had been a lot of speculation over who he would fight next. Marlon Moraes has the biggest claim at 135, but Henry Cejudo wants the chance to step up and go for double gold himself. All of that will now be thrown into disarray.

Suddenly, bantamweight has found itself without a champion, after Dillashaw sensationally vacated following a failed drug test. He’s set to miss at least a year for the misdemeanour. This follows an adverse finding by the New York State Athletic Commission.

Damage Done

Dillashaw took to Instagram to release the following statement to explain what happened. He is clearly attempting to limit the damage that has just been done to his reputation and arguably the future of his MMA career. He wrote:

“To all my fans, I wanted to be the first 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.”

August 4, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; TJ Dillashaw lands hits against Cody Garbrandt during UFC 227 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports.

Plans Smashed

Unsurprisingly, Henry Cejudo’s team are not happy with the situation. While the flyweight champion may still get the chance to step up and fight for the title, a lot of the lustre will be gone because of the punctured rivalry with Dillashaw. The Messenger’s head coach Eric Albarracin told Ariel Helwani:

“This sucks. Henry wanted that rivalry/money fight and the 135-pound belt and to shut the critics up once and for all. It made sense. I hope it was a mistake or contamination for his sake because that’s a hell of drop from glory, from chasing the pound-for-pound status with two belts to losing it all. He has a family to support, and I wish that on no one. Can only wait to see what USADA final determination is.

This throws a wrench in our plans. It’s early and haven’t spoke with henry yet. However, if I know Henry, he still wants that belt, because he is chasing a legacy.”

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

Big Questions

As of yet, we don’t even know what caused Dillashaw to fail the test. Unfortunately for him, he has now entered the champion with an asterisk category, like Jon Jones and Anderson Silva. Cody Garbrandt had accused him of using PEDs in the past.

You can bet that ‘No-Love’ won’t be shedding any tears over this.

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