After beating Petr Yan in a split decision, Aljamain Sterling retained his bantamweight title and silenced his critics. Following the fight, Sterling said that he wished to challenge Dillashaw for the next title defense. Aljamain later reversed course, but he remains open to fighting him in the future if the UFC decides to make that a top priority. As a result, Dillashaw is now taking potshots at the bantamweight champion. He won the belt after Yan was disqualified from their first fight for using an illegal knee at UFC 259.
With Dillashaw attempting to return to the Octagon, tensions have continued to build.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Dillashaw described Sterling’s skillset and striking as pathetic. In his potential matchup against Aljamain Sterling, TJ Dillashaw doesn’t see the champion as a big challenge.
Dillashaw’s comments were immediately picked up by Sterling, who attacked the former 135lb champion.
“[TJ Dillashaw] who TF have you beaten that is soOoOoo much tougher than the guys I’ve faced?” Sterling replied. “This is Comedy Central. You should do stand up with [Henry Cejudo]. He’s your daddy, after he sonned your needled ass.”
Despite no official announcement on who will next challenge for the bantamweight title, president Dana White seems to think Dillashaw has the lead. Sterling said he is planning on taking time off after UFC 273, so he may have to wait a while.
Dillashaw has won the UFC bantamweight title twice. With a stoppage of Renan Barao at UFC 173, he first won the belt, and after nearly two years he lost it to Dominick Cruz in a controversial split decision back in 2016.
A year later, Dillashaw reclaimed the title against Cody Garbrandt, but vacated it in 2019 after failing drug tests for EPO. In 2021, Dillashaw returned to the sport after serving a two-year ban, beating Cory Sandhagen on a split decision to qualify for a title opportunity.