Aljamain Sterling fine with fighting ‘souped up’ TJ Dillashaw at UFC 280: ‘I made peace with that’

Aljamain Sterling TJ ufc 280

‘Funk Master’ Aljamain Sterling will be looking to defend his bantamweight title at UFC 280 against the former champion T.J. Dillashaw. Dillashaw was stripped of the title in 2019 and suspended from MMA due to testing positive for recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO). Sterling thinks that Dillashaw is still on it, but will be able to beat him regardless.

In an interview with MMA Fighting, the undisputed world champion explained:

“I already made peace with it that I’m going to be fighting a guy (T.J. Dillashaw) that’s more than likely — if there were odds I would say about 90 per cent this guy is finding another way to cheat, even if it’s some type of microdosing or however that stuff works. He’s willing to put more time into that than just do things the right way.

READ MORE:  Jon Jones warned against title fight with Stipe Miocic at UFC 309: 'He is a killer, and he will put you out'

Sterling adds that fighting someone who is on some form of performance-enhancing drugs is just business as usual for a titleholder. He continued:

“I already made peace with that, there’s a chance that I’m going to be fighting a guy that’s already souped up. I think a lot of guys I fought in the past have been on some s*** anyways so this isn’t going to be any different.”

Aljamain Sterling is focused on his cardio against Dillashaw

The 33-year-old ‘Funk Master’ Aljamain Sterling is on a seven-fight win streak against top-ranked opponents in one of the UFC’s most competitive divisions. Most recently, he earned a split-decision victory against Russia’s Petr Yan.

READ MORE:  Leon Edwards welcomes historic title clash with Conor McGregor at UFC 309 in MSG: '100%, that's the fight'

Dillashaw has had one fight since his return from suspension. He took on the top-ranked and dangerous Cory Sandhagen in what became a five-round war. With Dillashaw taking a decision victory, he now has the opportunity to reclaim the throne he formerly sat upon.

The Serra-Longo-trained Aljamain Sterling knows the threat that the former champion poses in this fight. Even if his opponent is on some form of performance-enhancing drug, ‘Funk Master’ has a game plan ready. In the same interview, he added:

“The only thing I have to worry about is to make sure my cardio is going to be more than extraordinary just so I can keep the pace. Because I know this guy is a little weasel that’s going to find any way to get an advantage. He can say whatever he wants but he knows deep down inside how long he’s been doing all that cheating for, and his teammates outed him. At the end of the day, it’s just going to be the better man that day and if he’s got to be the better man by using the supplements and all this other stuff, that’s on him. I know my hands are clean.”

Aljamain Sterling and TJ Dillashaw are booked to fight for the bantamweight crown at UFC 280 on October 22.