Former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw was stripped of the 135-pound strap back in early 2019 after blowing up his pre-fight drug test. That led to a lengthy disciplinary suspension and heavy criticism from fans, as well as fellow fighters.
BLOCKBUSTER LIGHTWEIGHT SHOWDOWN! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Etihad Arena In Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Sat., Oct. 22, 2022, featuring a highly anticipated match up for the vacant 155-pound title between former division kingpin, Charles Oliveira, against Islam Makhachev, who enter “Fight Island” with a combined 21-fight unbeaten run. In UFC 280’s ESPN+-streamed pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, Bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling defends his title against former two-time division roost-ruler, T.J. Dillashaw. Last, and certainly not least, former 135-pound champion, Petr Yan, will lock horns with superstar in the making, “Sugar” Sean O’Malley.
Dillashaw, now 36, served his time and made a triumphant comeback at UFC Vegas 32, outpointing longtime contender Cory Sandhagen in July 2021. That said, current champion Aljamain Sterling believes the new-look Dillashaw is still finding ways to keep himself on steroids.
Or maybe he’s just building up excuses.
“To me, he’s already building up excuses,” Dillashaw told MMA Fighting. “He knows he’s got this fight in front of him. He knows he’s got me that’s going to be standing right in front of him that’s going to rip his fucking head off, and he’s creating an excuse to why he’s going to lose already. And he probably isn’t that bad of a guy, he’s just trying too hard. He might be, I don’t know, a bit insecure. He should be because he’s fighting me and I’m going to fucking run through him, so he’s going to be a little insecure with that.”
Sterling and Dillashaw will collide for “Funk Master’s” strap in the UFC 280 pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, which takes place this Sat. (Oct. 22) at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. The victor will likely move on to defend against the winner of this UFC 280 fight.
Assuming nobody fails a drug test.
While the promotion will be in Abu Dhabi, UAE, far away from the prying eyes of stateside commissions, athletes will still have to answer to the drug testers at United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), assuming they are not in the bathtub cutting weight.
For much more on Sterling vs. Dillashaw at UFC 280 click here.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 280 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches at 10 a.m. ET, followed by the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+/ESPNews at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 280: “Oliveira vs. Makhachev” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here. For the complete UFC 280 fight card and PPV line up click here.