T.J. Dillashaw Expects ‘Easy’ Title Fight Against Aljamain Sterling: ‘He’s Not Championship Calibre’

T.J. Dillashaw
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari - Zuffa LLC

Former two-time UFC bantamweight champion, T.J. Dillashaw has claimed that a future championship challenge against current division titleholder, Aljamain Sterling would be “easy” for him from a stylistic viewpoint, claiming that the Uniondale gold holder is not “championships calibre”.

Dillashaw, a former two-time undisputed bantamweight champion, most recently featured back in July in his return from a two-year retroactive USADA suspension – headlining UFC Vegas 32 in a close, debated split decision win over common-opponent, Cory Sandhagen.

The victory returned Dillashaw to the winner’s enclosure after he suffered a one-sided first round knockout loss to former flyweight champion, Henry Cejudo in the main event of UFC Fight Night Brooklyn in January 2019.

In the time since his victory over Sandhagen, Dillashaw has been recovering and rehabilitating after suffering a knee injury against the Colorado native, but is still expecting to challenge for Octagon gold in his immediate return to active competition.

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T.J. Dillashaw received a call out from Aljamain Sterling after UFC 273 this month

Appearing at UFC 273 earlier month in Jacksonville, Florida – Dillashaw was the subject of a call out from undisputed bantamweight best, Sterling, who welcomed a title defense against the Angels Camp native next.

Sharing his thoughts on a fight with Sterling in his return to the Octagon, Dillashaw claimed that a title affair with the New York native would be relatively easy work for him from a stylistic viewpoint.

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“I’m not too worried about (Aljamain) Sterling, that call out, (it’s) a pretty easy fight for me to be honest,” T.J. Dillashaw said during a recent interview with ESPN MMA. “And maybe I’ll just to my training camp here on the beach with drink in hand and get the job done, you know.” 

“I think it’s gonna be real good,” T.J. Dillashaw explained. “Congratulations to him (Aljamain Sterling) in implementing his game plan in the fight, and he showed some weaknesses in (Petr) Yan. But, yeah, stylistically that fights perfect for me. He can say anything he wants, but he ain’t gonna be champion for much longer.”

Dillashaw then claimed that Sterling offers no real danger to him, and whilst he complimented the attributes he possessed to land him a championship, all-in-all, he does not believe Sterling is of a championship calibre.

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“I mean, he’s good – don’t get me wrong,” T.J. Dillashaw said. “He’s got some attributes. He wouldn’t be were he is if he wasn’t good, but he’s definitely not champion calibre. The guys that I’ve fought already in the past – much better than he is, more dangerous. There’s no danger fighting Sterling… there’s no way he’s going to be out-grappling me, his striking is straight pathetic. I’m surprised he is where he is. And stylistically, it’s a good fight for me.”

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.