Aljamain Sterling vs. T.J. Dillashaw is expected to be on the agenda for UFC 279. The promotion is eyeing a UFC bantamweight title fight between Sterling and Dillashaw for their Sept. 10 card, according to multiple reports.
News of Sterling vs. Dillashaw was first reported by MMA Junkie. Dillashaw's manager Tiki Ghosn told ESPN that Dillashaw has agreed to the bout. The matchup is Dillashaw's first UFC title fight in three years -- a failed bid against Henry Cejudo for the UFC flyweight championship. It comes four years after he successfully defended the UFC bantamweight title against bitter rival Cody Garbrandt. For Sterling, UFC 279 provides fresh scenery after two years of build-up and back-to-back fights against Petr Yan.
Sterling (21-3) won the UFC bantamweight championship in a controversial fashion at UFC 259. Yan, the champion at the time, landed an illegal knee that drew a disqualification. There was little debate over the legality of the blow. Sterling being awarded the championship, however, left a bad taste with some people. Sterling overwhelmed Yan with wrestling in the early rounds of their UFC 273 rematch and barely held on in the later frames to win a split decision to retain the crown.
Dillashaw (17-4) defeated high-ranked contender Corey Sandhagen via split decision last July despite a 30-month layoff. He suffered a knee injury in that fight that kept him out for nearly one year. Dillashaw never lost the UFC bantamweight championship inside the Octagon. He relinquished the belt in 2019 after adverse findings from his drug tests and was later suspended for two years.
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