UFC 280: Aljamain Sterling vs. TJ Dillashaw Picks and Predictions

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Aljamain Sterling and TJ Dillashaw face off on Saturday in a bantamweight title bout for the co-main event of UFC 280 at Etihad Arena at Abu Dhabi. Sterling is the Champion while Dillashaw is ranked 2nd. 

Aljamain Sterling comes into this fight with a 21-3 record overall and he has won seven fights in a row. Sterling’s last fight came against Petr Yan in April of 2022 and it was a split-decision victory. Sterling was outstruck 63-62 but he had two takedowns, and that was enough for the victory. Sterling is averaging 4.56 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.24 significant strikes per minute. He is averaging 1.71 takedowns every 15 minutes but is successful on only 21 percent of his takedown attempts. He is also stopping 41 percent of his opponents takedown attempts. 

On the other side of this matchup is TJ Dillashaw who sits with an 18-4 record and he has won five of his last six fights. In Dillashaw’s last fight came against Cory Sandhagen in July of 2021 and that was a split-decision victory. Dillashaw was outstruck 128-110 but had two takedowns and that was enough to secure the split decision victory. Dillashaw is averaging 5.26 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 3.27 significant strikes per minute. He is averaging 1.63 takedowns every 15 minutes.

Dillashaw is probably the better wrestler here, but that’s the only real advantage that he has. Sterling’s grappling doesn’t get enough attention, and he’s going to find success here with that part of his skill set. Sterling is going to wear down Dillashaw with his takedown attempts and that is going to be the difference here. Back Sterling on the money line to cash. 

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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