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UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling put a vicious beatdown on TJ Dillashaw at UFC 280 and so did Dillashaw's own body. Sterling mauled Dillashaw over the course of two rounds in which Dillashaw was afflicted with a recurring shoulder injury.

Sterling took down Dillashaw early in Round 1 and Dillashaw's shoulder appeared to pop out of place, eliciting a grimace from the former champ. It did not take long for Sterling to mount Dillashaw and land big punches. Dillashaw remarkably toughed it out, surviving rear-naked choke attempts and making it to his feet. Duane Ludwig, Dillashaw's coach, appeared to massage the shoulder back into place between the first and second rounds. Referee Mark Goddard was noticeably concerned with the apparent injury.

Dillashaw's left shoulder continued to plague him in Round 2. Sterling secured another takedown early and his shoulder was noticeably impacted by the time they returned to a standing position. Sterling snatched a D'Arce choke attempt and wound up with a back mount. He flattened a defenseless yet gutsy Dillashaw, landing brutal elbows and punches that forced Goddard's intervention.

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Goddard, according to UFC commentator Jon Anik, informed the broadcast team that Dillashaw's injury was disclosed to him before the fight. Dillashaw confirmed to Daniel Cormier in a post-fight interview that his blew out his shoulder in April and it popped in and out "about 20 times" during training camp. He apologized for holding up the division and said he was trying to goad Sterling into a striking match in the lead-up to the fight.

Sterling kept an open mind about his next title challenger. When asked who he'd like to fight next, Sterling mentioned former two-division champion Henry Cejudo, Sean O'Malley, Marlon Vera and Cory Sandhagen.

Sterling has now won eight consecutive fights, defeating the likes of Dillashaw, Petr Yan (twice) and Sandhagen. Dillashaw competed admirably in a losing effort to Sterling, his first fight since defeating Sandhagen last July.