Now, for the first time, T.J. Dillashaw spoke openly about his decision to use EPO on Chael Sonnen's "You're Welcome" podcast.
The former Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight champion is currently suspended for two years due to his EPO use. Dillashaw will not be able to return to the Octagon until January 2021.
"Let's start off, first and foremost, I cheated," Dillashaw said, as transcribed by LowKick MMA. "I don't want to run around that, that's why even I announced it when USADA was coming out. I didn’t want to create excuses."
The 33-year-old said he doesn't want to make any excuses, and explained that he was starting to face six weeks out of his fight during the weight cut process. He voiced his concerns that he wouldn't have been able to cut the weight or make it to the fight without taking these banned substances.
"I decided to take something I knew I wasn’t allowed to take," Dillashaw explained. "It’s called Procrit, it's an anemia medication that would help me, not only make the weight, but be myself. And, you know, I'm not mad I did it, because I don't think I could've taken the fight. I'm obviously going to own up that I cheated, I got caught – it’s a rough one man. It's hard not to hate yourself a little bit. To – I don’t know. It's a tough one."