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Joseph Benavidez’s Comments on T.J. Dillashaw’s PED Ban May be Most Interesting of All

Joseph Benavidez has made some eyebrow raising coments regarding T.J. Dillashaw's USADA suspension.

There’s been no shortage of debate and discussion about T.J. Dillashaw’s two-year suspension for EPO use. But, recently his former teammate, Joseph Benavidez, weighed in on the situation, and his comments may be the most interesting to date.

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Several weeks ago, the MMA world was rocked by the news that Dillashaw was vacating the 135 title, and the New York Commission had suspended the star for using banned substances. Nothing specific was released about the violation, until earlier this month, USADA announced Dillashaw had tested positive for EPO use. As a result, the now-former champ’s been suspended for two years and he won’t be eligible to return until January 18th, 2021.

Well, much has been made of the fact that Dillashaw’s rival, Cody Garbrandt, accused him of using EPO before any of this transpired. Now, in a recent interview with MMA Junkie, the aforementioned Benavidez had this to say about Dillashaw’s ban (quotes via MMA Fighting):

“I wasn’t surprised at all that he finally got caught,” said Benavidez. “Wasn’t surprising at all. There’s nothing I can really say as far as, like, that hasn’t already been said. I’m not gonna sit here and say the guy is this and that because if you look at the internet and everyone, it’s already been said. So there’s nothing worse you can say than what everyone already thinks, which I think is warranted. Everything that people are out there giving him, it’s 100 percent warranted for what he did.”

“It just goes to show, there’s consequences for what you do and you can’t hide who you are forever,” Benavidez said. “I’m surprised it took that long for him to get caught, and hid what he’s about this long. But you can’t hide that stuff forever. It’s great that it came out. There are consequences and if anything, I don’t think the consequences are that much. It’s not that bad. Get some surgeries. You got paid the day after the fight anyway. So it’s not like you’re getting suspended for the year. But like I said, it’s all the other things. All the disgrace and everything that is warranted, and maybe hurts more.”

So, this is pretty interesting and damning at the same time. We don’t know if Benavidez was explicitly aware of what Dillashaw was doing before or if he just suspected it. Or, if now that Dillashaw’s been suspended, he connected some dots in hindsight. But, it’s important to remember that Benavidez and Dillashaw were reportedly good friends, as well as training partners, for sometime. Unlike Garbrandt, who has always claimed he and Dillashaw never became close, before the latter left Team Alpha Male.

Dillashaw aside, Benavidez is preparing to face fellow top flyweight contender Jussier “Formiga” on June 29th.

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