(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The now former UFC Bantamweight Champion, TJ Dillashaw, tested positive for a banned substance call Erythropoietin (EPO). What is EPO? If you want the scientific breakdown Google is just a click away. If you don’t mind hearing the simple version, EPO is a hormone that stimulates the production of red blood cells, which for athletes, that means it stimulates their endurance. EPO is naturally produced by the kidneys however it can be artificially produced, and in TJ’s case, injected into the body. Many athletes have been busted in the past for using EPO including world known cyclist Lance Armstrong. Injecting EPO increases oxygen absorption, this will reduce fatigue therefore adding to ones endurance. It’s cheating; plain and simple. The United States Anti-doping Agency (USADA) will test the fighters randomly leading up to and after the fights to make sure there is no “doping”. In January of 2019, TJ fought Henry Cejudo at UFC Fight Night 143 in Brooklyn, and the samples taken from TJ have recently come back positive with EPO. Apparently there is a different test administered in order to detect EPO and it’s not applied to every sample. The New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) suspended TJ for one year and USADA handed TJ a two year suspension. The former Bantamweight Champion posted a message on his social media, stating he was voluntarily relinquishing his Bantamweight title out of respect for the division. The MMA world is not reacting well to this news and it appears we won’t be seeing TJ until January of 2021.