UFC 280 will go down on October 22nd, 2022, at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The action packed fight card is stacked. Recently, T.J. Dillashaw shared his thoughts about his upcoming fight with Aljamain Sterling.  

Ahead of their Oct. 22 co-headliner at Etihad Stadium in Abu Dhabi, bantamweight champion Sterling (21-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) told “The MMA Hour” that he believes Dillashaw (17-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC) is not a clean athlete. Now, Dillashaw said Sterling is already trying to find ways to justify a loss in their upcoming fight.

Sterling’s claim does not come as a surprise, because Dillashaw tested positive in a drug test back in 2019 that led to him being stripped of the 135-pound belt and earned him a two-year suspension from UFC competition. However, according to the company’s testing database, Dillashaw has been tested 53 times by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency since his original failure, and without issue.

Dillashaw has repeatedly claimed his past test failure was the result of taking a substance to assist in a weight cut down to the flyweight division. Meanwhile, during his most recent interview with MMA Junkie, he asserted that there’s an easy explanation why Sterling is making such accusations.

“He’s got to say something to downplay how good I am, I’m going to whoop his ass coming up soon in 10 weeks. He’s got to make some sort of excuse of why I’m winning, or who I am and why I am. It don’t bother me. It’s just a bunch of bullsh*t excuses. When I beat his ass he’s going to be like, ‘See.’”

With the fight signed and set for UFC 280, Dillashaw is adamant that no amount of pre-planted “excuses” from Sterling will change his fate inside the octagon. He said he has no personal issues with “The Funkmaster,” but he does admit the reigning champion has some character traits that rub him the wrong way.

“I never had anything against the guy until now I’m fighting him. The way he kind of handled winning the belt the first time and just continuing his persona outright. He’s a kind of not a likable guy, and he’s kind of rolling with taking the cringe to the next level. Nothing personally against him, other than the fact he acts like a dipsh*t.”

“I’ve never tried to get into too much personal stuff, trying to bring in the reality TV drama into everything. I try to stick somewhat to the sport. I don’t have time to really worry about who he is as a person or what he’s got going on. I worry about who he is as a fight, what holes he has in his game and how I’m going to whoop his ass. That’s why I get paid. Some people get paid to talk sh*t, but it’s just not what I’m into. I’m into talking sh*t about me being the best.”

Despite the suspension that cost him his title and took him away from the sport, Dillashaw said he’s never lost confidence about being the best in the world. He hasn’t lost a fight in the bantamweight division since January 2016, and that was a controversial split decision to Dominick Cruz. Dillashaw expects this matchup with Aljamain Sterling to highlight his greatness in a big way.

“I absolutely have the advantage in striking,” Dillashaw said. “I believe I have the advantage everywhere. He is really good once he gets on the back with control and things like that. I haven’t been impressed with his wrestling. He’s a (Division III) wrestler, and I’ve been wrestling D1. I think his takedown defense is under 50 percent. His striking is – it’s embarrassing that he’s the champion (with) his striking that is that bad. It’s God awful. He uses his awkwardness to his advantage, but when you start throwing with him he just cowers.

“I feel like I’m just going to break him, He’s going to be one of those ones that’s going to want to quit on me, and I’ll get to choose the way I finish him. I will finish him. He’s going to break underneath me. He’s going to realize anything he’s going to try to do isn’t going to work and that I’m better everywhere. So mentally he’s just going to be shut down.”

Meanwhile, Sterling is on a seven-fight winning streak in his own right and coming off a first title defense against Petr Yan at UFC 273 in April. If T.J. Dillashaw is able to dethrone Aljamain Sterling at UFC 280, he would join Randy Couture as just the second fighter in company history to have three title reigns in a single weight class. 

This will surely an interesting fight to watch. You can check out Dillashaw’s whole interview below.

What’s your take on this story? Sound off in the comments.

Shubham Banerjee

Shubham is a computer science student. His love for technology, gadgets and coding pushed him to pursue a career in this field. Seeing his friends working for thirsty inspired him to write stuff. He loves information , reads about anything and everything and thirsty provided him a way to share this passion for being informed with the world in a mutually beneficial manner His personal interests include photography , exploring all kinds of music and football. Being disappointed with Barcelona's performance in Europe is the only constant in his life.

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