Aljamain Sterling vs. T.J. Dillashaw title fight being finalized for UFC 279

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Champion Aljamain Sterling (21-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) will seek his second title defense as he takes on T.J. Dillashaw (17-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC). The bout is currently targeted for UFC 279 on Sept. 10.

Three people with knowledge of the situation verified to MMA Junkie that contracts have been issued for the matchup. The people requested anonymity because the promotion has yet to make an official announcement.

UFC 279 does not have an official location or venue at this time, though sources recently told MMA Junkie that Boston and Atlanta are in play.

Sterling, 32, has won seven-straight fights including two victories over former champion Petr Yan. After Sterling won the belt by disqualification a UFC 258 in March 2021, he faced criticism and hate from an onslaught of fans for the way in which he won the title. After a neck surgery and recovery, Sterling returned at UFC 273 and defeated Yan by split decision.

Other victories during his current streak include Cory Sandhagen, Pedro Munhoz, Jimmie Rivera, Cody Stamann, and Brett Johns.

Dillashaw, 36, publicly stated since his win over Sandhagen in July 2021 that he was promised a title shot. That victory came by split decision in his first fight since a two-year USADA suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.  During the Sandhagen fight, Dillashaw injured his knee. He underwent knee surgery that kept him out of full-on training until recent months.

With the addition, the UFC 279 lineup includes:

  • Champion Aljamain Sterling vs. T.J. Dillashaw – for bantamweight title

  • Norma Dumont vs. Danielle Wolf

  • Hannah Cifers vs. Melissa Martinez

  • Victor Altamirano vs. Daniel da Silva