Dillashaw and Sterling will battle for the bantamweight title at UFC 280 on Oct. 22. This will be Dillashaw’s first UFC title fight since before his two-year USADA suspension following a loss to Henry Cejudo for the flyweight title.
Sterling defended his controversially earned bantamweight belt against Petr Yan at UFC 273 via split decision. Directly following the fight, a matchup between him and Dillashaw was tabbed as the next title matchup.
Sterling silenced some of his haters following the win over Yan, but Dillashaw remains a skeptic when it comes to Sterling’s approach to fighting.
TJ Dillashaw Not Impressed By Aljamain Sterling Ahead Of UFC 280 Clash
During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Dillashaw was asked whether or not he gained respect for Sterling following his UFC 273 win.
“Well he won the fight,” Dillashaw said of Sterling. “The first one was a shitty way to win the belt, and the way he handled it kind of made himself really hated. But still, I don’t feel like he gained that much more respect. He’s not a dangerous fighter. He’s not the guy that you have to worry about getting finished or put to sleep. I’ve always known he’s great, he’s got some great skills and what he does.
“But to me, if I look at him, he’s not a fighter. He’s more of an athlete, which you know our sport is professional athletes, but… you might wanna go out there and get that finish.”
Sterling and Dillashaw have gone back and forth since talks of a fight began earlier this year. Sterling has taken shots at Dillashaw’s past suspension for EPO use while Dillashaw has accused Sterling of not being a UFC-caliber champion.
Before his back-to-back fights against Yan, Sterling earned wins over the likes of Cory Sandhagen and Pedro Munhoz on the way to the title shot. He has won seven straight fights since a loss to Marlon Moraes in 2017.
Dillashaw returned to the Octagon last July in a win over Cory Sandhagen and seems intent on regaining his title. He’ll have the opportunity to prove his comments on Sterling correct at UFC 280.
Do you agree with TJ Dillashaw on Aljamain Sterling?