The UFC confirmed during the UFC Vegas 59 event Saturday that Aljamain Sterling will defend his bantamweight crown in October.
Standing in Sterling’s way will be the former two-time bantamweight champion and current No. 2 T.J. Dillashaw (17-4-0), 36, a still controversial figure who has worked his way to the title shot with a win over Cory Sandhagen last July.
Dillashaw’s past is well documented, including the 12-month ban from the UFC for doping. But he edged past the No. 4 Sandhagen in his first fight back from 2019, earning the nod.
Sterling (21-3-0), 33, is also controversial for his run with rival Petr Yan, whom he unified the belt with at UFC 273 in April with a split-decision win. He is expected to utilize his grappling and make Dillashaw work on the mat in this bout.
UFC 280 is scheduled for Oct. 22 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Current bouts include:
CHARLES OLIVEIRA (33-8-0, 1NC) VS. #4 ISLAM MAKHACHEV (22-1-0)
ALJAMAIN STERLING (21-3-0) VS. #2 T.J. DILLASHAW (17-4-0)
NIKITA KRYLOV (28-9-0) VS. VOLKAN OEZDEMIR (18-6-0)
#6 BENEIL DARIUSH (21-4-1) VS. #9 MATEUSZ GAMROT (21-1-0, 1NC)
#5 BELAL MUHAMMAD (21-3-0, 1NC) VS. #9 SEAN BRADY (15-0-0)
#3 MARINA RODRIGUEZ (16-1-2) VS. #8 AMANDA LEMOS (12-2-1)
#1 PETR YAN (16-3-0) VS. #13 SEAN O’MALLEY (15-1-0, 1NC)
ZUBAIRIA TUKHUGOV (20-5-1) VS. LUCAS ALMEIDA (14-1-0)
More bouts are expected to be announced.