Sterling retained the bantamweight title in a split decision win over Petr Yan at UFC 273. He earned the belt after Yan was disqualified for an illegal knee in their first fight at UFC 259.
Just days after Sterling controversially earned the title, Dillashaw and Sterling went at it on social media. Tensions have continued to build as Dillashaw works his way back to the Octagon.
Dillashaw most recently defeated Cory Sandhagen last summer following a two-year suspension for EPO use. He’s expected to be Sterling’s next title challenger.
“He’s good, don’t get me wrong,” Dillashaw said. “He’s got some attributes. He wouldn’t be where he is without being good, but he’s definitely not champion caliber. The guys that I’ve fought already in the past (are) much better than he is, a lot more dangerous. There’s no danger fighting Sterling. Has he ever even knocked anyone out?
“I don’t know. I didn’t even look at his record. It’s a guy that you don’t have to be worried about. There’s no way he’s gonna be out-grappling me. His striking is straight pathetic, so yeah, I’m surprised that he is where he is, and stylistically it’s a great fight for me.”
Aljamain Sterling Laughs At TJ Dillashaw’s Remarks
It didn’t take long for Sterling to get word of Dillashaw’s comments, as he responded by blasting the former 135lb champion.
“[TJ Dillashaw] who TF have you beaten that is soOoOoo much tougher than the guys I’ve faced?” Sterling replied. “This is Comedy Central. You should do stand up with [Henry Cejudo]. He’s your daddy, after he sonned your needled ass.”
Sterling and Dillashaw are expected to fight next later this year, barring some unforeseen circumstances. Dillashaw is still recovering from leg surgery after suffering an injury early in his fight with Sandhagen.
Dillashaw is looking to become a three-time UFC bantamweight champion, while Sterling is looking to further cement himself on the UFC’s pound-for-pound list.
What is your early prediction for a possible Aljamain Sterling vs. TJ Dillashaw fight?