TJ Dillashaw sold his UFC bantamweight championship on Wednesday after the US anti-doping agency and the New York State Athletic Commission informed him of an "adverse analytical discovery" in a drug test dating back to his last fight, in January in Brooklyn. The NYSAC issued him a one-year suspension and a $ 10,000 fine. The decision leaves many questions for UFC fans, including the place where Dillashaw goes from here and the future of the bantamweight and flyweight divisions.
Here's what you need to know based on the Wednesday announcement.
Why was TJ Dillashaw positive?
At the moment it is not clear what the "adverse analytical discovery" has been. According to USADA, it comes from a competing test conducted on January 18th. Dillashaw advertised the first UFC card on ESPN + on January 19, a fight against flyweight champion Henry Cejudo in which he lost the first round TKO.
TJ Dillashaw says he sold the UFC title of the roosters after the results of a drug test. It's been suspended for a year by the NYSAC.
Trying to become the fourth holder of the double title, TJ Dillashaw tries to cut an additional 10 pounds and drop to 125 pounds to face Henry Cejudo.
What does this mean for Dillashaw's legacy?
Until we know exactly what turned out to be positive, it is not possible to determine the impact on Dillashaw's legacy. He won the UFC belt in May 2014 by defeating long-time champion Renan Barao through the fifth TKO round. He lost it in his next battle against Dominick Cruz, but won four immediately afterwards and retook the title by beating Cody Garbrandt at UCFC 227 last year. Dillashaw is in the discussion for the biggest UFC cock ever, but negative incidents like this will hinder this long-term legacy.
How does it affect bantamweight division?
At this time, he is no champion, leaving many contenders in contention for a chance at the title. The most obvious candidate is Marlon Moraes, former world bantamweight champion fighter who joined the UFC in 2017. After a debut defeat with Raphael Assuncao, he responded with four consecutive victories, almost all to be emphasized. Besides him, there are more options to fight for a title. Aljamain Sterling won three consecutive victories, the most recent unanimous victory against Jimmie Rivera in February. Pedro Munhoz, in a series of three victories, has just eliminated the former champion Garbrandt in March. And if the former holder of the Cruz jury is always healthy, he could be in line for a shot. So this brings us to our next question …
Will Henry Cejudo still try to fight for a second belt?
Flyweight champion UFC was last seen defeating Dillashaw, who was challenging Cejudo for his 125-pound title. After the victory, Cejudo said he wanted to gain weight to face Dillashaw for the bantamweight championship. Will he still have the same goal with Dillashaw? The answer is yes. "I'm the biggest name now. I keep all the papers," he told Ariel Helwani of ESPN. "It's not the flyweight division or the bantamweight division, it's the Cejudo weight division. So I'll wait and see what the UFC has planned for the Cejudo weight division."
It is quite possible that the Cejudo in weight gain for a possibility in a second belt is the result of all this.
If Cejudo gains weight, could this be the end of the UFC flyweight division?
The future of the 125-pound division is not clear, but it is possible that the UFC will shut it down. The Cejudo movement would mean that the division's main star no longer wants to be part of the smallest weight class in the sport. The UFC was unable to make Demetrious Johnson, the long-time champion, the name it should have been. If Cejudo gets up and stays cocked, the flyweight division could be in trouble.
How will keep the UFC lose a top star for a whole year?
Losing Dillashaw is a big loss. The UFC featured it on the first card of its ESPN agreement for a reason. But while he is a star, he is not a superstar. At this time the state is reserved only Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier and perhaps Amanda Nunes. Georges St-Pierre is retired and Ronda Rousey is long gone. Dillashaw is not in that high-level category. His absence for a year is bad, but it could be worse for the UFC.