MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC Vegas 62, a five-round UFC bantamweight title bout between champion Aljamain Sterling and former champ TJ Dillashaw. The event takes place on Saturday, October 22 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Aljamain Sterling (-180)
Sterling (21-3) is the UFC bantamweight champion. The 33-year-old American joined the UFC back in 2014 and since then he has racked up a 13-3 record inside the Octagon with notable wins over the likes of Petr Yan, Pedro Munhoz, and Cory Sandhagen. One of the best grapplers to ever fight at 135lbs, Sterling has also improved his striking in recent years to become a champion. He has always had the potential to be a world champion and now he’s starting to finally show it. Overall, there is a lot to like about Sterling, and there’s a reason why he is the betting favorite for this fight.
TJ Dillashaw (+155)
Dillashaw (18-4) is the former UFC bantamweight champion. The 36-year-old American has been in the UFC since 2011 and he has a 13-3 overall record inside the Octagon, with notable wins over the likes of Cory Sandhagen, Cody Garbrandt, and Raphael Assuncao. Overall he is one of the best bantamweights in the sport’s history and it’s amazing that he is still winning all of these fights so late into his UFC career. The only question about Dillashaw at this point is how he will look coming off of another long layoff. He hasn’t fought in over a year, so it will be interesting to see how he looks inside the cage when he takes on one of the best bantamweights in the world in Sterling. On paper, Dillashaw matches up well so it will be interesting to see how the actual fight plays out. But with Sterling as the champ, it does make sense that Dillashaw enters this fight as the betting underdog.
Fight Breakdown: This should be an incredible bantamweight title fight between two of the best in the game. Sterling has proven during his win streak that he’s the champ for a reason, and despite what happened in the first Yan fight, the fact he won the second fight showed that he truly is a championship-level fighter. Dillashaw, on the other hand, was a champion at one point in time and technically he did not lose his belt in the cage, but rather for testing positive for PEDs. This is definitely going to be an intriguing fight and it’s an interesting one to break down as both fighters match up well in all areas of the game. For me, though, the biggest difference here is the level of activity in recent years. While Dillashaw has fought just once since 2019, Sterling has been very active inside the Octagon and I believe all of his latest experience is going to help him in this title fight. I expect nothing less than a great fight, but I expect Sterling to ultimately win it by decision.
Prediction: Aljamain Sterling