Aljamain Sterling vs T.J. Dillashaw
October 22, 2022 3:25 pm EDT
The Line: T.J. Dillashaw +150 / Aljamain Sterling -175
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Aljamain Sterling and T.J. Dillashaw fight Saturday in UFC 280 at the Etihad Arena. Sterling enters this fight with a 21-3 record and has won 48 percent of his fights by decision. Dillashaw enters this fight with a 17-4 record and has won 47 percent of his fights by knockout.
Sterling has won each of his last 7 fights and is coming off an April win over Petr Yan. Sterling is averaging 4.56 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Sterling is averaging 1.71 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 21 percent. Sterling is coming off a decision win at UFC 273 where he landed 91 total strikes and produced 2 takedowns. A competitive bout, Sterling has now won 10 of his 12 career decisions. Sterling is an accurate striker with an impressive work rate, and he’s a black belt in BJJ. Sterling has a background in Division III wrestling, and he’s never been submitted, while he has 8 career submissions of his own. Sterling has become a really balanced fighter, and he’s experiencing his best results at 33 years old. This will be Sterling’s first career fight in the United Arab Emirates.
Dillashaw has won 7 of his last 9 fights and is coming off a July (2021) win over Cory Sandhagen. Dillashaw is averaging 5.26 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 41 percent. Dillashaw is averaging 1.63 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 30 percent. Dillashaw is coming off a decision win at UFC on ESPN 27 where he landed 169 total strikes and produced 2 takedowns. Dillashaw will fight for the second time since 2019 after serving a suspension. He is now 36 years old. Dillashaw is an obvious accurate and powerful striker who does a lot of his damage standing up where he mixes in knees and leg kicks. However, Dillashaw has a viscous ground and pound and a high quality defense as well. A black bet in Muay Thai and purple belt in BJJ, Dillashaw is a patient fighter who usually plays the long game and has won 6 of his 8 career decisions. Dillashaw is also as fresh as it gets, given the lack of action over the years. This will be Dillashaw’s first career fight in the United Arab Emirates.
Sterling quieted the doubters with his recent performance and have forced folks to look at him in a new light. He’s legit. With that said, we’re getting Dillashaw in the big underdog role, and it’s tough to ignore. Despite the lack of consistent activity, Dillashaw looked great in his last bout, and it’s fair to believe there’s still something left in the tank at 36 years old. Dillashaw has the striking to give Sterling issues, and his takedown defense has always been high quality.
I see value with Dillashaw as an underdog, and I’ll take the price.