Friday, June 24, 2022

Dillashaw Prepared For Sterling’s PED Attacks: That’s All He Has

UFC bantamweight TJ Dillashaw is prepared for the inevitable trash talk that will come his way if a fight against champion Aljamain Sterling comes to fruition.

At UFC 273, Sterling proved a whole host of doubters wrong by successfully defending his 135-pound gold against arch-rival Petr Yan. Having legitimized what had been a disputed reign up until the April 9 pay-per-view, “Funk Master” has now turned his attention to his next potential challenger.

It seems like that foe could be Dillashaw, a former two-time bantamweight titleholder and the current #2-ranked contender in the division. Following his victory in Jacksonville, Sterling used his time on the mic to call out the 36-year-old, who was in attendance.

If the matchup comes to fruition, it will represent Dillashaw’s second fight since returning from a two-year USADA suspension, which he was slapped with following his 2019 defeat to Henry Cejudo after testing positive for recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO).

While his comeback opponent, top-five contender Cory Sandhagen, didn’t address the incident too much in the build-up to their collision in the UFC Vegas 32 main event last July, it doesn’t seem as though the same will apply to Sterling.

During an appearance on DC & RC following UFC 273, Sterling discussed Dillashaw’s PED-usage, claiming “his entire legacy to me is tainted.”

Dillashaw: Sterling’s Trash Talk Is More Embarrassing Than His Striking

Following his positive test and in the years since, Dillashaw has been open and apologetic about his faults. Having served his suspension and returned to competition, the Californian has vowed not to let the mistake define his career and his life.

For that reason, Dillashaw isn’t concerned about the barrage of insults that could come his was relating to his use of performance-enhancing drugs ahead of a potential fight with the bantamweight king.

During an interview with ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto, Dillashaw slammed Sterling’s “cringey” attempts at trash talk, suggesting the champ has nothing to use against him aside from his past infractions.

With that in mind, the former titleholder believes he’s fully prepared for the verbal back and forth and went as far as to brand Sterling’s words as just as “embarrassing” as his striking skills.

“I mean, I’m totally prepared for it. We’re all gonna see that that’s the only thing he’s got,” said Dillashaw. “I mean, the guy is just — he took one out of (Henry) Cejudo’s book and became even cringier. I didn’t think anyone could get cringier than Cejudo, and he’s taken it a step further.

“He’s got nothing. All of his trash talk, whatever he’s gonna say, is just embarrassing. It’s the same as his striking,” added Dillashaw. “It’s embarrassing to be in the UFC with what he has to offer.”

Having just come off a heated build-up ahead of his rematch with Yan in Florida, it would appear there won’t be any let up for Sterling in that respect should Dillashaw be officially confirmed as his next challenger.

But given Dillashaw’s past and the public opinion on his suspension, perhaps “Funk Master” won’t be the villain this time around…

If this fight comes to fruition, who do you think will have their hand raised, TJ Dillashaw or Aljamain Sterling?

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