After both men made weight earlier in the day, reigning champ Sterling (21-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) and former titleholder Dillashaw (17-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC) got a final opportunity to size each other up in a tense staredown.
Watch the video above to see Sterling and Dillashaw face off for UFC 280, which takes place Saturday at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi with a main card that airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPNews and ESPN+.
Sterling, No. 1 in the latest USA Today Sports/MMA Junkie bantamweight rankings, was awarded the title in controversial fashion at UFC 259 in March 2021 when Petr Yan hit him with an illegal knee that forced the fight to be stopped by disqualification. The pair had a rematch 11 months later, and Sterling came out with a split decision over Yan for his first defense.
No. 3-ranked Dillashaw, meanwhile, will attempt the rare feat of three title reigns in a single weight class. His previous title run was ended in January 2019 when he tested positive for an illegal substance and was stripped of his title. He returned from a two-year suspension in July 2021 and beat Cory Sandhagen by split decision to earn the opportunity to regain the strap.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 280.
UFC 280 breakdown: T.J. Dillashaw has important edge over Aljamain Sterling, which could be difference