Earlier this year, Sterling scored an almighty victory, not just in the context of his career, but over a whole host of detractors who had doubted his championship credentials and delegitimized his reign owing to how it was won.
After a 13-month period filled with criticism, acting accusations, and trash talk from arch-rival Petr Yan, “Funk Master” did what he promised he would at UFC 273, and that was make the Russian, as well as those who had been constantly trolling him, “look like a jackass” by defending the 135-pound gold against him.
Now, Sterling’s reign has moved beyond his feud with “No Mercy” for now and landed at the doorstep of #2-ranked contender TJ Dillashaw. The pair will collide in the co-main event of UFC 280, set for Abu Dhabi next Saturday.
Similar to his most recent outing, the champ will enter the pay-per-view contest off the back of a number of question marks about his skillset that have been raised by the challenger.
And once again, Sterling has promised that he won’t be the one looking “stupid” come October 22.
Sterling Gives Familiar Line Ahead Of Dillashaw Clash
During an appearance on Submission Radio, Sterling looked ahead to the second defense of his bantamweight belt and the buildup to his clash with former two-time titleholder Dillashaw so far.
Among the exchanges, Dillashaw has labeled Sterling a “dipsh*t” who has “embarrassing” striking deficiencies. But the champ has encouraged his opponent to keep talking, because it’ll only make him look more “stupid” when he fails to dethrone him come fight night.
“I don’t think he’s fought anyone with my type of style,” Sterling said. “He can say whatever he wants in terms of, ‘It’s an easy fight… (Sterling’s) striking is embarrassing.’ All the stuff he’s saying, the trash talk — someone’s got to eat their words. Someone’s gonna look very, very stupid, and I just really don’t think it’s going to be me.
“The same thing with Petr Yan calling me a chicken, a coward, and all his stuff. I’m like, I didn’t get here by accident. So if you think all this stuff that you wanna say, there’s one way we’re gonna find out, and it’s gonna be (at UFC 280),” Sterling added.
While there’s now little doubt about Sterling’s position at the bantamweight mountaintop, despite the best efforts of some to suggest his second victory over Yan was undeserved, it’s safe to say that “Funk Master” is still not widely held on the same pedestal as other UFC champions.
But by dismissing the challenge of a man seen by some as one of the greatest of all time in the division, Sterling will further damage his doubters’ narrative.
Who do you think will look “stupid” at UFC 280, Aljamain Sterling or TJ Dillashaw?
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