TJ Dillashaw On ‘Athlete’ Aljamain Sterling: “He Doesn’t Have That Fighting Spirit In Him”

Dillashaw details plans around return and the next title fight at 135.

Dillashaw Sterling
Dillashaw Sterling

TJ Dillashaw wants the winner of Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling 2. He didn’t have anything nice to say about the champ Sterling before that happens. 

Dillashaw’s Waiting For A Title Shot

The former 2X UFC Bantamweight Champion looks to recapture his throne for a third time. After a 2 year-suspension for EPO use, Dillashaw would reinstate himself in the bantamweight title picture. He’d get an impressive split decision win over Cory Sandhagen last July. 

His road to gold may have been delayed with a knee injury but it wouldn’t matter much as UFC Champs Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan haven’t gotten their rematch settled yet. From this, Dillashaw is just tired of ‘his belt getting passed around.’

“The weight class being the way it is, the fight (Yan vs. Sterling) being a disqualification, the way it was was by far the worst thing.” Dillashaw told ESPN. “I wanted to come back and fight for the title right away. I came back and had an insanely tough fight with Cory Sandhagen, fighting on one leg.

“Now it’s time to wait for my belt. I’m tired of my belt being passed around. It’s time for me to get it back.”

Dillashaw has no doubt in his mind he’s next for the title shot. No more fights until he gets the ‘golden opportunity’. Until that happens, Dillashaw’s return to the fight game will be a waiting game.

“I left as a champion, uh, came back and fought their number one contender off a two and a half year layoff. So, what else is there for me?” Dillashaw continued. Things that are going to get me up out of bed and get me excited is getting my belt back… That’s my goal. There’s nothing else to really set my eyes on, other than that.”

Dillashaw’s Thoughts On Yan vs. Sterling 2

What stands between him and the bantamweight belt is the winner of Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan 2. The rivals will look to settle their score at UFC 273 on April 9th. The former UFC Champion explained who he had his money on, in the matchup.

“My money’s on Yan.” Dillashaw said. “The way that fight went down and to kind of see Aljamain just break and give up… he really didn’t have much for him. I was kind of expecting Sterling to give him a lot more trouble in the grappling aspects and the takedowns. Yan just kind of shrugged them off. [Sterling] had no strength. I don’t know if there’s much, you can change with that.”

“Yan’s a killer. You see the way he fights, he stays real tight, stays clean, and he’s got the mentality that he’s a fighter. You got those competitors, you got athletes, and then you got fighters. Guys like myself and guys like Yan, are the full package, you do all of them.”

Sterling Lacks ‘Fighting Spirit’

Unfortunately for ‘The Funkmaster’, Dillashaw wouldn’t really classify him as a fighter.

“I feel like Sterling is more of a competitor or an athlete. He doesn’t have that fighting spirit in him. He’s a little bit weak when it comes to that last thing.”

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