Aljamain Sterling vs. T.J. Dillashaw no longer on UFC 279 table, but possible for UFC 280

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Aljamain Sterling vs. T.J. Dillashaw is off the UFC 279 table – but the delay might not be too long.

In anticipation of the five-round main event between Khamzat Chimaev and Nate Diaz, the UFC has rescinded its offers to the bantamweight champion and next title challenger, a person with knowledge of the situation informed MMA Junkie on Tuesday. The person asked to remain anonymous. MMA reporter Ariel Helwani was first to report on Spotify Live.

The promotion, however, is interested in preserving the matchup, a source added. UFC 280 is on the table, as the UFC eyes Sterling (21-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) vs. Dillashaw (17-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC) as the second title fight for the Oct. 22 event.

As of now, UFC 281 in November is not in play, as Sterling cannot get licensed in the state of New York for medical reasons. UFC 282 is expected to take place in December in Las Vegas.

While bout agreements were issued to both fighters for UFC 279, the process faced a holdup as Sterling hopes for escalator pay, an attribute usually found in UFC contracts, where fighters get a smaller, mid-contract pay bump after each promotional appearance.

Neither Sterling nor Dillashaw have commented on the rescinded offer at the time of publication.