Former UFC champion TJ Dillashaw and former title challenger Paulo Costa were two of the most tested fighters in USADA’s anti-doping program in 2021.

MMA Junkie was among the first to report news of the Top-10 testing list released by USADA earlier this week.

Dillashaw returned to the octagon in 2021 after a two-year hiatus from competition. After a flyweight title loss to Henry Cejudo, he tested positive for EPO and was served with a lengthy suspension by USADA.

READ MORE:  UFC boss Dana White plans Alexa Grasso - Valentina Shevchenko 3 next: 'It's the fight that needs to happen'

Dillashaw has claimed that the EPO use was to help with his brutal weight cut down to flyweight, and wasn’t meant to give him any fight night advantages. Despite his claims, USADA tested him a whopping 25 times over the past year.

Dillashaw defeated Cory Sandhagen in a UFC Fight Night main event in his return, earning a split decision victory. The former champion is anticipating a title shot for his next octagon appearance.

Costa, who fell short of UFC gold to Israel Adesanya in 2020, was tested 23 times in 2021, despite his relative inactivity over the past couple of years. After a weight-cutting debacle ahead of his fight with Marvin Vettori, Costa would lose a catchweight bout via a unanimous decision.

READ MORE:  Rafael Fiziev slams Conor McGregor for ducking USADA testing: 'He does it because he's a superstar'

Despite UFC president Dana White‘s earlier claims that Costa will need to fight at light heavyweight from now on, he and his team have confirmed a return at middleweight. This was after he was allegedly injured during his last fight camp.

Former UFC light heavyweight and current middleweight Misha Cirkunov topped the list as the promotion’s most tested fighter. Heavyweight contender Jairzinho Rozenstruik was also included as one of the most tested.

READ MORE:  Israel Adesanya claims he will just fight 'For fun' after UFC 293 title loss: 'The belts never mattered to me'

The sky is still the limit for Dillashaw and Costa going forward, as both of them look to prove their integrity in the sport.

What do you think is next for TJ Dillashaw, Paulo Costa in 2022?

Curtis Calhoun is a Combat Sports Contributor based in Seattle, Washington. After a longtime dream of becoming a sports journalist, he was able to accomplish his goals upon graduating from Washington State University in 2016.