TJ Dillashaw’s decision to vacate his bantamweight title has raised several suspicions
In a social media post last week, Dillashaw confirmed that he had been informed of an adverse finding from one of his drug tests for his recent flyweight title fight against Henry Cejudo.
While the investigation takes place and “out of fairness and respect to the rest of my division”, Dillashaw opted to “relinquish” his 135lbs belt.
Already, the UFC has booked a bout for the vacant title, with Cejudo set to move up a weight class for a clash against Marlon Moraes.
For the vacant bantamweight belt!
— UFC (@ufc) March 27, 2019
And one man who isn’t buying Dillashaw’s proclamation of innocence is former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping.
Bisping coached Dillashaw on the 14th season of The Ultimate Fighter and admitted that he knows more about the situation than he was willing to let on but he did publicly doubt Dillashaw on a recent episode of his podcast, Believe You Me.
“I don’t break the circle of trust,” Bisping said, as transcribed by MMA Fighting. “I don’t speak outside of school. I don’t tell tales outside of fucking tale-telling time but I’m telling you this, circle of trust or not, no motherfucker relinquishes their belt out of respect for the rest of the division. It ain’t about the rest of the division, it’s about me.
“I’m not gonna relinquish my belt once I destroy the competition and become the champion. I’m not gonna relinquish my belt out of respect for the competition. You just wouldn’t do that. So that in itself – and I apologise if I’m wrong – is almost an admittance of guilt. It really is.
He added: “You would not relinquish your belt unless there was some kind of guilt and you know you’re in a no-win situation.”
Throughout his career, Bisping was one of the most vocal advocates for clean fighters in the UFC and ‘The Count’ has fought several opponents who ended up being flagged for USADA violations.
So while he might have a friendship with Dillashaw, it’s clear that his moral stance on anti-doping violations far exceeds everything else.
“To cheat in this sport, the danger is very, very real,” Bisping continued. “I have the injuries still to this day. I’m not gonna go into them, but I do, from people taking steroids and cheating people. There’s supposed to be honour and a certain moral code when you fight.”