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Aljamain Sterling vs TJ Dillashaw betting odds and predictions | UFC 280 tips

21 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Aljamain Sterling vs TJ Dillashaw betting odds and predictions | UFC 280 tips

Jack Green makes his pick as Aljamain Sterling defends the bantamweight title against TJ Dillashaw at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi.

Here are our best UFC picks for Charles Oliveira vs Islam Makhachev at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi. Visit Betway for all the latest UFC odds

Sterling v Dillashaw odds

The belt is on the line in arguably the most competitive division in the UFC on Saturday night, as Aljamain Sterling defends the undisputed bantamweight title against former champion TJ Dillashaw.

These fighters have a combined 18 years of experience in the UFC between them and have both competed at the top of the division for a long time, but Sterling and Dillashaw have never met in the Octagon until now.

They’ve had vastly different careers up until this point. Sterling emerged as a huge prospect with three straight wins to start his UFC career between 2014 and 2015 and seemed destined for stardom, but back-to-back defeats saw him fall out of the title picture.

He got his career back on track by beating Augusto Mendes and Renan Barao, but then suffered an emphatic first-round knockout defeat to Marlon Moraes, which could have put an end to his chances of ever earning a title shot.

Sterling bounced back dramatically though, winning five in a row to set up a title shot against Petr Yan, which he won – fortuitously – as Yan was disqualified for an illegal knee. That was a controversial finish, but Sterling then successfully defended the title in the rematch to cement himself as the rightful bantamweight champion.

Dillashaw, on the other hand, rose slowly through the ranks after his 2011 UFC debut to earn a title shot in 2014 against Barao, who was a dominant champion at that point. Dillashaw was a huge underdog but upset the odds to win by KO, and then won a rematch in 2015. He lost his title to Dominick Cruz in 2016 but regained it against Cody Garbrandt a year later.

Dillashaw challenged Henry Cejudo for the flyweight championship in 2019, lost, and was then stripped of his bantamweight belt after a positive drug test. He was out of action for two years before returning in July 2021 and beating Cory Sandhagen by decision.

Now, after just one fight in three-and-a-half years, Dillashaw is fighting for the title once again, and he’s currently a {ODDS:968272481:7/5} underdog as he looks to complete a remarkable comeback.

Sterling, meanwhile, is the {ODDS:968272480:4/7} favourite to successfully defend his belt for the second time, and quell any doubts over who the UFC’s best bantamweight is.

Sterling v Dillashaw prediction

This should be a fascinating battle between two well-rounded fighters.

Both are accomplished wrestlers, but Sterling should have the edge if the fight goes to the ground. The champion has eight career wins by submission – compared to just two by knockout – including a first-round rear-naked choke against Sandhagen in June 2020 that set up his first title shot.

Dillashaw has just three submission wins and none since 2012, so it’s safe to assume he’ll be looking to keep this bout on the feet. With a career takedown defence percentage of 86 per cent, he has the tools to do just that.

So this should quickly become a striking match, with Dillashaw trying to get inside and land with power. With eight career knockout wins, the challenger is definitely the more explosive striker of the two, and also fights at a much higher pace than the more patient Sterling.

The champion does have a four-inch reach advantage, though, and that should prove crucial in what is otherwise a relatively close match-up.

Sterling’s kickboxing has improved hugely over the years, and he’s now an experienced fighter at the top of his game. He won’t provide many openings at all for Dillashaw to land power shots.

Dillashaw’s win over Sandhagen last year put him back in the title picture, but it was by no means a comfortable victory and he now comes off a 15-month layoff to face a much tougher opponent. If he’s lost any speed or power during his long spells of inactivity over the past few years, there could be a huge gulf between these two fighters in terms of physicality.

Dillashaw can’t be written off given his huge experience and knack for performing on the biggest stage, but all the signs point to a successful defence for Sterling.

Expect him to strike at range, patiently picking the shorter man apart for five rounds and earning the decision.

Sterling to win by decision {ODDS:968272541:7/5}