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Morning Report: Joseph Benavidez on T.J. Dillashaw USADA suspension: ‘I’m surprised it took that long for him to get caught’

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Esther Lin

Last month, UFC bantamweight champion revealed that he had failed a USADA drug test stemming from his first-round loss to Henry Cejudo at UFC Brooklyn, and that as a result, he would be vacating his title while he attempted to resolve the issue. It was a titanic shift for the 135-pound division that only got even more monumental when a few weeks later, it was revealed that Dillashaw failed for EPO and accepted a two-year suspension from USADA. Dillashaw’s former teammate and rival, Cody Garbrandt, was quick to respond to “scumbag” Dillashaw after the announcement, and now another former training partner has joined in the fray.

Speaking with MMAJunkie over the weekend, Joseph Benavidez commented on Dillashaw’s suspension, saying he was not surprised by what happened and that all the flak Dillashaw is catching is well-earned.

“I wasn’t surprised at all that he finally got caught,” said Benavidez. “Wasn’t surprising at all. There’s nothing I can really say as far as, like, that hasn’t already been said. I’m not gonna sit here and say the guy is this and that because if you look at the internet and everyone, it’s already been said. So there’s nothing worse you can say than what everyone already thinks, which I think is warranted. Everything that people are out there giving him, it’s 100 percent warranted for what he did.”

Like with Garbrandt, Dillashaw and Benavidez came up through the Team Alpha Male gym. Unlike with Garbrandt though, who never was close with Dillashaw, the two were good friends and teammates and became the prized pupils of Duane Ludwig. When Dillashaw and Urijah Faber had their acrimonious split that started the beef with Team Alpha Male, Benavidez remained neutral, continuing to travel and train with Dillashaw and Ludwig. In recent years though, their friendship had begun to sour, especially when Dillashaw bragged about being brought in “to kill the flyweight division” against Henry Cejudo. Now, their friendship appears all but gone, as Benavidez believes this shows Dillashaw’s true character. He also argues that Dillashaw got off easy from USADA.

“It just goes to show, there’s consequences for what you do and you can’t hide who you are forever,” Benavidez said. “I’m surprised it took that long for him to get caught, and hid what he’s about this long. But you can’t hide that stuff forever. It’s great that it came out. There are consequences and if anything, I don’t think the consequences are that much. It’s not that bad. Get some surgeries. You got paid the day after the fight anyway. So it’s not like you’re getting suspended for the year. But like I said, it’s all the other things. All the disgrace and everything that is warranted, and maybe hurts more.

“Like I said, the truth will come out at some point and you can’t hide that stuff forever.”

It seems like Dillashaw intends to do just that. A few days after the news was announced that he had failed for EPO, Dillashaw released a statement to social media, apologizing for “messing up” and saying that he would be taking the two years to have some surgeries that he needed and to recover his body. Dillashaw will be eligible to fight against on Jan. 18, 2021.


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Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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