Following his devastating first-round knockout loss to Henry Cejudo and subsequent failed drug test, T.J. Dillashaw’s reputation has taken a battering these past couple of months.
Former UFC flyweight champion turned ONE FC contender Demetrious Johnson, however, isn’t so quick to jump on the hate bandwagon.
Speaking as a guest on The Ariel Helwani MMA Show, ‘Mighty Mouse’ brushed off Dillashaw’s loss to Cejudo and said the former two-time bantamweight champ will bounce back from his failed drug test.
“At the end of the day for TJ, he went down to fight Henry Cejudo and I felt that fight could have gone either way,” Johnson said, per MMA Mania’s Adam Guillen Jr. TJ Dillashaw is no joke, he is great on the feet. He is great everywhere, and so is Henry Cejudo. It’s just one of those shots where you get hit on the side of the head,” said Demetrious of TJ’s lighting-quick defeat to Cejudo.”
“Now, unfortunately, TJ is dealing with the whole adverse finding in his sample. But, it is what it is, I hope the best for both of those athletes and I hope he will be able to move passed it, do his time and be able to get back into the Octagon,” he continued.
“At the end of the day, there have been so many people who have popped for steroids, or whatever it is, they do their time, they come back and are able to compete again and make money. So at the end of the day, it’s like a blemish kind of, but not really I guess. At the end of the day we will see what happens.”
Dillashaw tested positive for an unknown banned substance in relation to his bout with Cejudo and was immediately suspended for one year by the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC). The 33-year-old announced on social media that he had voluntarily relinquished his bantamweight title out of respect for the rest of the division. Dillashaw has been removed from the official UFC rankings.
As for ‘Mighty Mouse’, the former pound-for-pound No. 1 recently submitted Yuya Wakamatsu in his ONE FC debut and will advance the semi-finals of the flyweight Grand Prix tournament. Johnson submitted Wakamatsu in the second round with a guillotine choke.