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UFC 280 fight card primer: Aljamain Sterling vs. T.J. Dillashaw

Get up to date on the co-main event of UFC 280 between Aljamain Sterling and T.J. Dillashaw. 

The co-main event of UFC 280 will feature a bantamweight fight between Aljamain Sterling (21-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) and T.J. Dillashaw (17-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC). UFC 280: Oliveira vs. Makhachev airs live from the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates this Saturday, October 20th. The main card will start with a special fight time of 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT, with the ESPNews/ESPN+ prelims beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. PT.

How do these two stack up?

Sterling: 33 years old | 5’7” | 71” reach

Dillashaw: 36 years old | 5’6” | 67” reach

What have these two done recently?

Sterling: W - Petr Yan (SD) | W - Petr Yan (DQ) | W - Cory Sandhagen (SUB)

Dillashaw: W - Cory Sandhagen (SD) | L - Henry Cejudo (TKO) | W - Cody Garbrandt (KO)

How did these two get here?

“Hey, T.J. Dillashaw, where the f—k you at? You next, b—h!”

That was the warning sent by Aljamain Sterling to T.J. Dillashaw following his split decision win over Petr Yan in their much-anticipated rematch at UFC 273 in April. The UFC bantamweight champion was clear in who he wanted for his next defense, and Dillashaw fit the bill.

In his return to the Octagon upon the completion of his two-year suspension by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Dillashaw reinserted himself into contention with a split decision against Cory Sandhagen at UFC Vegas 32 last July. Unfortunately, his momentum would stall as the former UFC bantamweight champion suffered a knee injury that kept him on the sidelines. Fortunately, the top of the division would sort itself out by the time he was cleared to return, so he was booked against Sterling.

Why should you care?

There is a lot to like about Sterling vs. Dillashaw. To be honest, this one is quite a toss-up. Can the ‘Funk Master’ get Dillashaw to the ground? Will Dillashaw keep the fight standing? Only one way to find out!