Aljamain Sterling has already agreed to fight a T.J. Dillashaw, a “souped-up” at UFC


Aljamain Sterling has never been shy when asked about his feelings on cheating in mixed martial arts, especially when it comes to his next opponent T.J. Dillashaw.

The two-time UFC bantamweight champion was suspended for two years after he got busted using recombinant human erythropoietin — better known as EPO — following a knockout loss to Henry Cejudo back in 2019. In the wake of that suspension, Dillashaw admitted fault but maintains his innocence that he had never used performance enhancing drugs outside of that lone incident.

Sterling doesn’t buy that for a second, which is why he’s just accepted the fact that he’ll probably be going up against a chemically enhanced opponent at UFC 280.

” I have already accepted that it is likely that I will be fighting a man that’s more probable — if I had to guess, I would estimate that 90 per cent of this guy cheats. Even if that means microdosing. Sterling spoke to The Fighter vs. The Writer. The Writer.

“I already peace with that, there’s a chance that I’m going to be fighting a guy that’s already souped up. I believe a lot of the guys that I have fought previously were on some sort of s*** so I don’t think this will be any different .”

If Sterling addressing Dillashaw’s past with the potential that he might cheat again seems like setting up excuses if he comes up short on Oct. 22, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, the 33-year-old champion has addressed his concerns about Dillashaw long before he was named the No. 1 contender in the division and it’s forced Sterling to work that much harder to ensure he can negate any advantages his opponent might have when they finally clash in the octagon.

“The only thing I have to worry about is to make sure my cardio is going to be more than extraordinary just so I can keep the pace,” Sterling explained. “Because I know this guy is a little weasel that’s going to find any way to get an advantage. Although he can speak his mind, he is aware of how much time he has been cheating and that his team members exposed him.

“I know my hands are clean.”

I know my hands are clean.”

For all the physical advantages that can be gained from performance enhancing drug use, Sterling also knows there’s a mental weakness that often times accompanies cheating.

Sterling will be exposing this when he takes on Dillashaw, with his bantamweight title up for grabs.

” I think there’s a chink in that armor there,” Sterling stated. “Some room for me to expose his shortcomings. I think mentally he’s going to have that in the back of his head. I think it also proves that you’re a little bit of a mental midget.

“If I can get into his head early on, I think he might self-destruct and make it an even easier night for me.”

Sterling doesn’t believe Dillashaw earned the chance to fight for his title because of his controversial split victory over Cory Sandhagen, which was a two-year suspension.

That said, Sterling still believes there’s a lot for him to gain against an established former champion like Dillashaw, who he wants to add to his resume as he attempts to secure a legacy as the best bantamweight of all-time.

” I don’t believe he should be rewarded after cheating, and getting caught,” Sterling stated. He was caught cheating not only once, but repeatedly. He’s getting what I think a great opportunity because win or lose, he gets paid a lot more than he would just fighting at a regular pay scale for a fight, even if it’s main event.

” I don’t believe he is the best man for what he has done. That’s because of TJ, for me that’s the most exciting part. I’ve watched TJ since the beginning of his career in the UFC, on The Ultimate Fighter. It’s been a pleasure to get to know the man. It’s important to get to know him personally. He is a great guy and I am finally able to meet him in person. Shows me I’ve become ‘the guy’ and the guy gets to take out the old guy. It’s the young lion meets the old lion and hopefully the young buck gets to take out the old head and show him there’s a new king in town.”