Aljamain Sterling has a date with a former champion.
The reigning UFC bantamweight champion will take on two-time titleholder T.J. Dillashaw in the co-main event of UFC 280 at Etihad Arena on Oct. 22. MMA Fighting confirmed the news following an initial report from Yahoo! Sports.
Sterling vs. Dillashaw was targeted for UFC 279 on Sept. 10, but following a report that Nate Diaz and Khamzat Chimaev will headline that event, Yahoo! Sports reported that Sterling’s next title defense will instead take place at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi.
This will be Sterling’s second scheduled title defense. After winning the title from Petr Yan via a controversial disqualification victory at UFC 259, the champ defeated Yan by split decision in a rematch at UFC 273.
Dillashaw has successfully defended the UFC bantamweight title three times over two separate reigns, with the latter coming to an abrupt end when he was forced to relinquish the title in January 2019 after testing positive for EPO (recombinant human erythropoietin) and receiving a two-year suspension from the USADA.
MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck and Steven Marrocco contributed to this report.