Artem Lobov may not have ever fought T.J. Dillashaw, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have strong opinions on the former bantamweight champion’s recent test failure.
Dillashaw failed two USADA tests for the famous performance enhancer EPO ahead of his January contest with Henry Cejudo, and has since been suspended for two years for the infraction. He also has admitted he took the drugs knowingly to gain an advantage — not that Lobov is impressed by Dillashaw’s act of contrition
“If he could have said it was tainted supplements, he would have,” Lobov said, speaking on The Delve. “But Jeff Novitzky straight away shot him in the foot there and said it’s not something you cannot get from the supplement, it is something you can only inject. That’s it. What are you going to say from that. Believe me, he tried to bring up every excuse in the fucking book. He read over every single book a million times to try and come up with an excuse, but there was no chance there, so he had to just admit it.”
Realistically, Lobov says, there is one obvious victim in this whole story. While Cejudo was able to defeat Dillashaw in their champion vs. champion bout, Dillashaw’s previous two wins over Cody Garbrandt — a man who had publicly accused Dillashaw of taking EPO — should, in Lobov’s eyes, be called into question.
“For me, I really feel for Cody,” Lobov said. “Man, I fucking feel for that guy, honest to god, he doesn’t deserve this. Many people say, ‘Oh EPO, [Cody] got knocked out early in the second fight, so EPO didn’t really affect it’. No. So this is what the EPO does, number one, when they were swinging in the start of the round, they were going what the McGregor FAST program calls a red zone.
“In a red zone, you can only operate for a certain amount of seconds before your gasket blows and your performance goes down rapidly. Your reaction time slows time, your tired, your shots become very sloppy, making it a lot easier to get knocked out. And what will happen in that situation, someone that’s not on EPO versus someone that’s on EPO, when you already blowed your gasket and you’re tired and slowing down, the other guy is still going and he’s still sharper. That’s exactly what happened in that fight.”
Plus, Lobov says, the two year suspension is only a punishment for a cheater going forward. It doesn’t take into consideration the benefits said fighter has received from the banned substances up until the moment he got caught. Instead the Russian Hammer would much rather see punishments being somewhat retroactive, and taking into consideration the rewards a cheating fighter has already received.
“Look what he did to Cody,” Lobov said. “He took away his monetary reward. His confidence, one hundred percent will be forever damaged after getting knocked out like that. Forever. He could potentially retire now and never come back. Imagine that? So why is it that T.J. just got a ban and nothing else? No. The financial gains he made from that should be taken off him and given to Cody. Because he rightfully deserves it.”
“What’s he going to say to Cody’s family? To Cody’s mother, that had to witness him getting knocked out on TV. Oh [T.J.] doesn’t care about that? No, he’s just going to sit on all his money. If he is decent now, take everything that he made from every fight that he cheated, and donate it to USADA to catch all the rest of the fucking cheats. That’s what he should do. Give half of it to Cody, and give the other half to USADA. That’s an honourable thing to do. That’d be the first honourable fucking thing he’s done in the UFC, because he’s done nothing but cheating the whole time.”