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T.J. Dillashaw: Aljamain Sterling ‘already building excuses’ for loss at UFC 280

T.J. Dillashaw is fully confident that he’ll get through Aljamain Sterling at UFC 280 next weekend (Sat., Oct. 22, 2022).

A title win for Dillashaw will make him a three-time champion, joining Randy Couture as the only fighter in UFC history to achieve such a feat. Dillashaw lost his Bantamweight title because of his own actions in Jan. 2019, testing positive for performance-enhancing drug (PED) use. The current champion, Sterling, hasn’t been shy to highlight that he believes Dillashaw is still using.

“I feel like he’s gotta build something up, I think he’s already building excuses of why I’m gonna beat him and trying to play that mental warfare but it ain’t going to work with me,” Dillashaw told DC & RC.

Dillashaw re-earned his way back to title contention with a July 2021 split decision victory against Cory Sandhagen (watch highlights). Meanwhile, Sterling scored a successful first title defense, defeating via a split decision Petr Yan in April 2022.

Sterling primarily used his wrestling to overcome the always-dangerous striker, Yan. However, Dillashaw doesn’t see much of a threat in that department, which he’s also been quite good in throughout his career.

“I’m actually the better wrestler,” Dillashaw said. “I wasn’t really impressed with his shots to get those takedowns [against Petr Yan]. He had to take 22 of them to get two, right? So, those odds aren’t that great, but he’s so desperate and persistent in getting them that it helped for him.

“To be honest, man, I’m not feeling the threat,” he concluded. “I’m gonna get out there and do what I do best, show him what D-1 wrestling’s all about.”


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