Dillashaw will challenge Sterling for the UFC bantamweight title in the UFC 280 co-main event on Oct. 22. The matchup comes after Dillashaw won his UFC return last July against Cory Sandhagen and Sterling retained the title in a rematch against Petr Yan at UFC 273.
Dillashaw and Sterling have been at odds since Sterling’s post-fight Octagon interview at UFC 273. While Dillashaw was sitting cageside, Sterling lambasted Dillashaw and accused him of being a cheater following his two-year USADA suspension for EPO use.
Dillashaw has downplayed Sterling’s accomplishments in the cage, saying he’s more of an elite athlete than an elite fighter. Just two months before their fight, Dillashaw has expanded on what he has against Sterling.
TJ Dillashaw Details Beef With Aljamain Sterling Ahead Of UFC 280 Clash
During a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Dillashaw opened up about why Sterling irritates him.
“I never had anything against the guy until, obviously, now I’m fighting him. And the way he’s kind of handled winning the belt and the first time, and just continuing his persona. He’s like, a very unlikeable guy,” Dillashaw said. “He’s continuing to roll with these — taking the cringe to the next level. Nothing personal against him, other than the fact he acts like a dipsh*t.”
Sterling has been mocked by Dillashaw and other UFC fighters for how he handled his title win via disqualification at UFC 259 against Yan. In the championship rounds, Yan landed an illegal knee that was deemed intentional and Sterling was handed the belt.
Despite his emotions following the fight, Sterling arguably handled himself in an unideal way following the DQ win, including mocking Yan’s infraction and referring to himself as the genuine champion. Amidst hate from some fans and fighters, he silenced the doubters and defeated Yan via a split decision in their rematch.
Dillashaw will have the chance to back up his words with actions at UFC 280 and potentially reclaim the bantamweight title for the third time.
What are your thoughts on TJ Dillashaw’s stance on Aljamain Sterling?