TJ Dillashaw doesn’t have high expectations for Aljamain Sterling.
TJ Dillashaw is currently out recovering from surgery. He is, however, planning his return and in doing so wants a shot at the title. Dillashaw has only had one fight in the last three years due to a suspension and injury, but he feels his résumé speaks for itself and he wants the next available title shot.
The thing is, there is already a title fight scheduled. Finally, after a few rescheduled dates, champion Aljamain Sterling will be taking on interim champions Petr Yan at UFC 273 in April. Dillashaw took a moment to break down how he sees that fight playing out in a conversation with ESPN.
“My money’s on Yan,” Dillashaw said (via MiddleEasy). “The way that fight went down and to kind of see Aljamain just break and give up… he really didn’t have much for him. I was kind of expecting Sterling to give him a lot more trouble in the grappling aspects and the takedowns. Yan just kind of shrugged them off. [Sterling] had no strength. I don’t know if there’s much, you can change with that.”
The way the fight between Sterling and Yan ended, with a disqualification knee to a downed opponent, left a lot of questions unanswered. Sterling will have another opportunity to show the world that he is the rightful owner of that 135-pound belt. It is clear that Dillashaw believes that Yan is the one to beat in that matchup.
“Yan’s a killer. You see the way he fights, he stays real tight, stays clean, and he’s got the mentality that he’s a fighter,” Dillashaw said. “You got those competitors, you got athletes, and then you got fighters. Guys like myself and guys like Yan are the full package, you do all of them.”
Sterling has been taking quite a bit of heat from all sides since he won the belt in the way he did back in March. Dillashaw might have his chance at Sterling if “The Funk Master” is victorious at UFC 273. If that fight takes place, Dillashaw believes he has what it takes to defeat him.
“I feel like Sterling is more of a competitor or an athlete. He doesn’t have that fighting spirit in him. He’s a little bit weak when it comes to that last thing.”
Who do you think will bring him the belt at UFC 273, Sterling or Yan?