In this weekend’s pay-per-view co-main event, Sterling will look to successfully defend his title for the second time, having added two wins over Petr Yan to his record to win the belt and subsequently defend it.
In his way of another statement win in 2022, though, will be former two-time titleholder and 135-pound GOAT contender Dillashaw, who’s had his sights set on a third divisional reign ever since returning to action last July.
In the buildup to their collision in Abu Dhabi, neither champion nor challenger has been afraid to speak their mind.
From insults based on their skill sets to consistent talk of Dillashaw’s failed drug test and two-year suspension, the pair have frequently gone back and forth ahead of their October 22 date in the cage.
That trend hasn’t dwindled during fight week, with both men trading barbs during their respective media day appearances. And during Dillashaw’s, he reiterated a sentiment that he shared in a previous interview with the UFC.
“Sterling, he’s definitely not a fighter,” Dillashaw claimed on UFC Countdown. “He doesn’t have that mentality that I have, that I’m going to bite down on my mouthpiece and beat the s**t out of you. He’s willing to give up, I see that quit in him and I’m going to make him quit.” (h/t BJPenn.com)
Sterling Dismisses Dillashaw’s Latest Jibe
During his interaction with the media on Wednesday, Sterling was asked for his take on claims that he has a “quit button” that Dillashaw is targeting on Saturday night. The bantamweight champion’s response was simple. He asked Dillashaw when he’s ever quit inside the cage.
“Show me a fight where I quit?” Sterling questioned. “Show me one fight where I quit. Where I said, ‘Hey, I’m gonna pack it in, turn over and go home. Hey ref, I’m gonna cover up and pretend I can’t defend myself or fight anymore because I’m tired. And I’m just gonna roll over and wait for the ref to save me, and go, what happened?’ … What fight have I ever done that? … I can’t wait to bring him a little bit of humble pie.”
Like before his rematch with Yan, Sterling has suggested that someone will be left looking stupid at the culmination of the UFC 280 co-main event.
The pair’s latest back and forth will no doubt add to that narrative, which “Funk Master” firmly expects to fall on the right side of come fight night inside the Etihad Arena.
Who do you think will prove themselves right, Aljamain Sterling or TJ Dillashaw?
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