Ever since UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling won the belt from Petr Yan he has been the target of a lot of criticism. Despite defeating Yan again in the rematch the first bout remained the talking point. Sterling had become champion by way of disqualification and that’s not the way anyone wants to win a championship. A DQ start to a title reign is blood in the water for hungry circling contenders and one of them challenges for the title next.
Enter former champion TJ Dillashaw.
Dillashaw went through his own controversy. In March of 2019 he relinquished the belt after testing positive for steroids. He returned and defeated Cory Sandhagen in July of last year in a close split decision. Apparently, that one bout was enough to jump to the front of the line and on October 22nd of this year at UFC 280 he will meet Sterling. TJ has been less than complimentary to Aljamain heading in to this bout.
Dillashaw gave his take on Sterling’s skillset to MMA Junkie.
I haven’t been impressed with his wrestling. He’s a (Division III) wrestler, and I’ve been wrestling D1 (Division 1). I think his takedown defense is under 50 percent. His striking is – it’s embarrassing that he’s the champion his striking is that bad. It’s God awful. He uses his awkwardness to his advantage, but when you start throwing with him he just cowers. I don’t know. There’s a lot there. I can out-grapple you, I can out-strike you. I’m going to put on a clinic.
In October we will find out if Sterling is the real deal or not. Even at 36 years of age, heading in to the twilight of his UFC career – TJ remains dangerous.