UFC 280 Aljamain Sterling vs T.J. Dillashaw Best Bet: The Funk Master Defends Again
UFC 280 Aljamain Sterling vs T.J. Dillashaw: Saturday, October 22nd
The co-main event of the stacked UFC 280 card will feature The Funk Master Aljamain Sterling making his second title defence against the former Bantamweight champ – the man with many nicknames, T.J. Dillashaw! Happening right after the Yan vs O’Malley fight, we might get the next title match-up as early as this Saturday. ‘Don’t even blink! They are fast, faster than you could believe!’
In this article:
Aljamain Sterling vs T.J. Dillashaw Preview
Sat, October 22nd, TBD
Aljamain Sterling is the current UFC Bantamweight champion who won the title against Petr Yan back in March 2021 via… rolling on the floor and crying. Ok, I had to say it. Yes, the Yan knee was illegal and Aljo did put on a spectacular acting performance. But you know what else happened? Sterling finally fixed his neck, came back 13 months later and beat Yan again – this time by split decision. It was a razor-close fight, but Sterling’s ground control was enough to eventually get him the win.
But let’s talk about this man’s ability inside the octagon. With a record of 21 wins and 3 losses, he certainly has an impressive resume, and now he has the chance to put another high-profile name on the list. Sterling is an elite grappler with 8 submission victories. When he gets on your back, he’s like an evil backpack that constantly wants to suffocate you. His rear-naked chokes are deadly, and chances are this will be the way he gets the job done in this one. His striking isn’t the best, especially in the later rounds when his tank is running on fumes, but he does a good job of avoiding strikes, absorbing just 2.24 per minute.
However, the 36-year-old TJ Dillashaw is looking to make one more title attempt before he hangs up the gloves and the former champ has a lot of experience. With a record of 17 wins and 4 losses (2 by TKO, 2 by decision), Dillashaw is the second-ranked fighter in the division and a serious threat to the title. He has fought just once since early 2019, with his most recent bout being a split-decision win against Cory Sandhagen in July 2021.
Now, the former two-time champ makes his way to the octagon once again. We know that T.J. is a very dangerous fighter with exceptional striking and very good grappling. With 8 career TKOes, we know TJ has some solid power for the division, and landing 5.26 strikes per 15 is always a good look. However, as good as his grappling is, I don’t think it’s at the highest level. He’s been out-grappled in the past, and it will likely happen again in this fight.
Aljamain Sterling vs T.J. Dillashaw Best Bet
Aljamain Sterling is listed at 1.61 odds to win, whilst T.J. Dillashaw is available at 2.50. Although I love to back dogs in my articles, I just don’t see a path to victory for Dillashaw here. He isn’t going to out-grapple the Funk Master, he probably isn’t going to knock him out, and a decision win is unlikely.
On the flip side, Sterling has a huge takedown threat and a deadly ground game, forcing his opponents to start fights with caution. His striking isn’t elite, but it’s more than good enough to set up takedowns and once you’re on the ground with him – don’t turn your back! And this is exactly what T.J. does multiple times per fight.
- Selection: Sterling by Submission
- Best Odds: 5.00 (Unibet)
- Stakes: 1/10
Odds as at 2:00 pm on October 20th, 2022. Odds may now differ.