UFC 280 gets even better as Aljamain Sterling vs. T.J. Dillashaw has been relocated.
As reported by Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole today (Tues., July 19, 2022), the UFC Bantamweight title tilt between the champion, Sterling, and former two-time champion, Dillashaw, will now be featured as the co-main event in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Oct. 22, 2022. The fight was originally expected to take place at UFC 279 on Sept. 10, 2022.
The news of this shifting comes after it was announced earlier today that UFC 279 will be headlined by a Welterweight non-title clash between Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz in Las Vegas.
Sterling will aim to make his second title defense after settling the score with rival, Petr Yan, in April 2022. “Funkmaster” first won the title via disqualification in March 2021 when hit with an illegal knee against Yan in the fourth round (watch highlights). Their aforementioned April rematch saw Sterling silence his detractors by picking up a split decision victory.
As for Dillashaw, he’s fought once since suffering a quick 32-second knockout loss in his attempt at Flyweight gold versus Henry Cejudo in Jan. 2019 (watch highlights). Dillashaw was suspended after the bout because he tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO), resulting in a two-year suspension. Returning in July 2021, Dillashaw eeked out a split decision nod of his own against perennial top contender, Cory Sandhagen (watch highlights). He’s since been recovering from a knee injury that was exasperated in the bout.
Also recently announced for UFC’s return to Fight Island was the next Lightweight title bout. The most recent champion, Charles Oliveira, will go to war with Russia’s Islam Makhachev in one of the sport’s most anticipated match-ups.
The event only has three bouts thus far, but it’s one hell of a start, as seen below.
- 155lbs.: Vacant title bout – Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev
- 135lbs.: (C)Aljamain Sterling vs. T.J. Dillashaw
- 170lbs.: Belal Muhammad vs. Sean Brady