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Aljamain Sterling vs. T.J. Dillashaw title bout targeted for UFC 279

Aljamain Sterling’s second title defense is being planned for UFC 279 in September against T.J. Dillashaw.

Aljamain Sterling speaks with Joe Rogan during his Octagon interview after defeating Petr Yan at UFC 273.
Aljamain Sterling speaks with Joe Rogan during his Octagon interview after defeating Petr Yan at UFC 273.
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

After months of back-and-forth banters, the UFC bantamweight title fight between current champion Aljamain Sterling and ex-titleholder T.J. Dillashaw is on the verge of happening. Sources close to the situation told MMA Junkie that the company is targeting the said matchup to headline UFC 279.

As for the venue, MMA Junkie reports that Boston and Atlanta are the top two choices. The UFC has yet to make an official announcement.

The 36-year-old Dillashaw, who spent two years of his career on the sidelines after testing positive for EPO, returned to the Octagon in July 2021 against Cory Sandhagen. He won the fight with a close and somewhat contested split decision and underwent surgery soon after due to a knee injury.

Sterling, meanwhile, won the 135-pound title at UFC 259 in March 2021 via disqualification from an illegal knee strike from then-champion Petr Yan. He then underwent neck surgery and took a lengthy layoff before successfully defending the title in his rematch against Yan at UFC 273 in April.

UFC 279 is scheduled to happen on September 10th. Two other bantamweight contenders will also fight on the previous month, with UFC 178’s Jose Aldo vs Merab Dvalishvili possibly determining the next title challenger.