Aljamain Sterling will have another opportunity to settle a debate about who is the best bantamweight in the world.
As initially reported by MMA Junkie on Wednesday night, Sterling will be defending his UFC bantamweight championship against former champion TJ Dillashaw at UFC 279 this September. This comes after Sterling defeated Petr Yan at UFC 273 to cement himself as the undisputed champion.
Dillashaw was not defeated for the bantamweight championship during his second reign, and he has maintained that he is still the best bantamweight in the world. Come September 10, he will have the opportunity to prove it.
Dillashaw was stripped of the bantamweight championship after testing positive for EPO in 2019. After serving a two-year suspension, Dillashaw made a triumphant return by defeating top-5 bantamweight Cory Sandhagen last July.
Sterling also holds a victory over Sandhagen in a bout that he declared to be the true vacant bantamweight title fight after Dillashaw’s suspension due to their positions in the rankings at the time of the fight relative to Petr Yan and José Aldo, who were selected to compete for the official championship instead at UFC 251.
The 2022 bantamweight picture has now taken shape, with this title fight set and Aldo reportedly being targeted to face rising contender Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 278. Additionally, Dominick Cruz will also be facing Marlon Vera in August, and rising star Sean O’Malley is booked against his first top-10 opponent in Pedro Munhoz at next month’s UFC 276.
There is currently no venue locked in for this event, although Boston and Atlanta are reportedly the frontrunners to land the event.
As of this publication, there is not yet word on if this bantamweight title bout will serve as the headliner for the pay-per-view. Nevertheless, you can view the current card as it stands below.
- UFC Bantamweight Championship Bout: Aljamain Sterling (c) vs. T.J. Dillashaw
- Norma Dumont vs. Danielle Wolf
- Hannah Cifers vs. Melissa Martinez
- Victor Altamirano vs. Daniel da Silva
Who do you predict will exit UFC 279 as the undisputed UFC bantamweight champion: Aljamain Sterling or T.J. Dillashaw?