Sterling, the current champion of the bantamweight division, has made it clear he is fighting at UFC 280 regardless of opponent. He is scheduled to face former champion and USADA test failed TJ Dillashaw. Sterling is taking no chances that a failed drug test should scrap his chance at a payday and another gem on his title belt.
Over on Aljamain Sterling’s YouTube, he answered some fan questions, many about his upcoming opponent. In one question, Sterling was asked “What if TJ pops for PEDs again?”.
“If he pops again, it is what it is. I’m already prepared, and as I have said, I got back up, plans and contingency for other opponents. So you know, it is what it is. I train with the best guys in the world, you know. I bring it. Look at this guy over here, this guys a freaking savage, you know Merab [Dvalishvili].”
Sterling comes into his upcoming bout brimming with confidence. Petr Yan was seen as an insurmountable object for the Funk Master by many. Sterling though, stayed self-assured and proved the naysayers wrong, retaining his world title. He now faces a much different task all together in the fleet-of-foot all-rounder Dillashaw.
Sterling Takes On Controversial Ex-Champion
TJ Dillashaw returned to the sport following a two-year enforced absence at the hands of USADA. He tested positive for EPO post-flyweight debut in a knockout loss to Henry Cejudo and returned 2021 to a close decision win over Cory Sandhagen. He previously held the belt on two occasions, racking up three defenses across reigns.
In what be an interesting clash of styles, the two may grapple differently, yet on par with the divisions best. Dillashaw has often used a high degree of technical wrestling to control opponents and dish out damage. Sterling, meanwhile, has a high-level, suffocating ju-jitsu game that leaves his opponents stuck and praying for the round to end in order to remove Sterling from their backs.
We’ll learn which style and fighter proves supreme in two weeks at UFC 280.
This story originally appeared on MMANews.com. Please provide transcription credit with a link to this article if you use any of these quotes.