SATURDAY NEWS DIGEST 4/13: TJ Dillashaw releases video statement acknowledging PED use, Dana White doesn’t expect any issues with EPSN+ PPV, Rockhold responds to Smith call out, more

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

‘I messed up’

TJ Dillashaw came clean Friday. Dillashaw posted an Instagram video where he apologized to fans after being suspended for two years by USADA for EPO use. In the video, you can see Dillashaw sitting outside in a chair with his arm in a sling. He looks a little rough after what has probably been a difficult week for him.

“I messed up,” Dillashaw said. “I’m having a hard time trying to forgive myself for this, which I should have a hard time. I should have a hard time forgiving myself.  I understand the criticism and the scrutiny coming my way.”

Dillashaw noted that he does not plan to fight the suspension, and notes the “bad decision” he made. While he doesn’t address EPO head-on, Dillashaw’s language and approach to the suspension indicate he is admitting to what he was accused of.

Despite the two year ban and being on the sidelines until he’s 35 years old, Dillashaw is already preparing for his return.

“This won’t be the end of me, I’ll be back,” Dillashaw said. “I’m making you the promise right now that I’ll be back better, be back stronger. And I’ll prove that the hard work I put in got me where I’m at and not the bad decision that I made. All I can do to redeem myself is work hard.”

Bumps and hiccups

Dana White knows it’s a big ask to have fans go from ordering pay-per-views on traditional television to ordering them exclusively on ESPN+, but he thinks the transition will go relatively smoothly. Not that you’d expect anything less, but White had nothing but good things to say about his broadcast partner.

“ESPN is so goddamn good at what they do they should have been doing pay-per-views 10-15 years ago,” White told reporters after UFC 226 weigh-ins on Friday (via MMAJunkie). “I mean these guys are the best in sports, I’m sure there’s going to have their little bumps and hiccups, it happens when you’re doing something new.”

For many fans, ordering a PPV on a streaming service may be completely foreign to them. For others, it may not be an option at all. Even with those hurdles, White has full confidence in ESPN to deliver the goods to fans.

“I’m telling you, I’ve never worked with a group of people that are so on top of what they do and so good at it,” White said. “This whole relationship with these guys over the next seven years is going to be ridiculous. We’re going to take this sport to new levels.”

Saturday Notebook

-Anthony Smith had some harsh words for Luke Rockhold at yesterday’s UFC press conference promoting various upcoming events. Smith said he wanted to “drill a hole” through Rockhold’s face after he fights Alexander Gustafsson on June 1. TMZ caught up with Rockhold, who had the following to say. “He’s not going to be drilling nothing. I will own that kid from start to finish anywhere he wants to go. He’s not really on my radar. I’m going to go do my thing, and I’ll enjoy watching him get beat up in Stockholm.”

-USADA’s Jeff Novitsky said that they are “still checking into” TJ Dillashaw’s samples from previous fights to see if there were any undetected failures. A December 2018 sample tested positive for EPO after it was re-tested following his January failure for the same drug. “Right now, they’re checking through those databases to see if anything were to remain. And I think if any were to remain and didn’t have the special analysis EPO done on them, they would do that here in the coming week,” Novitsky said (via MMAFighting).

-Lodune Sincaid, a cast member from the original season of “The Ultimate Fighter” was found dead in Florida on Monday. No cause of death has been reported.

In case you missed it

UFC 236 PREVIEW & PREDICTIONS 4/13: Grocke’s updated odds & predictions for every fight

ROUNDTABLE: Staff predictions for Kelvin Gastelum vs. Israel Adesanya

MCGRATH: How Kelvin Gastelum will get it done at UFC 236

LIVE UFC 236 REPORT: Real-time results & analysis of Holloway-Poirier, Gastelum-Adesanya

MCGRATH: How Dustin Poirier will upset Max Holloway at UFC 236

UFC “Seasonal Press Conference”

UFC 236 Embedded episodes 5 and 6


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.