Sterling vs. Dillashaw: UFC 280 Predictions, Odds and Betting Picks

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Aljamain Sterling talks with Joe Rogan after his UFC bantamweight championship fight against Petr Yan. James Gilbert/Getty Images/AFP.

The UFC returns to Abu Dhabi for one of the most talent-stacked pay-per-view events of 2022.

The Bantamweight championship will be up for grabs in the co-main event of the evening, and we’re supplementing all your wagering needs.

Read on for our complete betting guide taking a first look at Aljamain Sterling vs. T.J. Dillashaw, including the updated UFC odds and our free expert UFC picks, predictions, and analysis.

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Aljamain Sterling vs. T.J. Dillashaw

Bantamweight Co-Main Event Championship Bout

Saturday, October 22, 2022 – 02:00 PM EDT at Etihad Arena

Aljamain Sterling

  • Pro MMA Record: (21-3-0) (2 KOs, 8 submissions, 10 decisions, 1 DQ)
  • Age: 33
  • Height: 5'7"
  • Reach: 71.0"
  • Training Out Of: Serra-Longo Fight Team
  • Origin Fighting Style: Wrestling

Current UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling hasn’t been short of controversy in recent years, but nothing stirred up the hatred of fight fans when he received the 135lb title due to an illegal knee strike from Petr Yan at UFC 259.

However, the immediate rematch settled a debate where critics were silenced as Sterling defeated Yan fair and square to retain his championship.

Outside of the Yan drama, Sterling is riding a 7-fight win streak since 2018, with notable wins over countless elite-level contenders. Jimmie Rivera, Pedro Munhoz, and Cory Sandhagen all fell victim to the high-level grappling skills of Sterling, but despite this, the champion is still attempting to prove his worth amongst the UFC fan base.

His newly-found friendship with Andrew Tate has again put Sterling in the spotlight of hatred. Still, the former Division III wrestler has built a solid BJJ foundation under the tutelage of Serra-Jiu-Jitsu that perfectly accompanies his wrestling offense, and these skills are something nobody can deny.

Aljamain Sterling Best Available Odds: (-175) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

T.J. Dillashaw

  • Pro MMA Record: (17-4-0) (9 KOs, 4 submissions, 7 decisions)
  • Age: 38
  • Height: 5'6"
  • Reach: 67.0"
  • Training Out Of: Huntington Beach Ultimate Training Center
  • Origin Fighting Style: Wrestling

T.J. Dillashaw can find common ground with his weekend opponent. After testing positive for a banned substance following a flyweight championship bout against Henry Cejudo, fans have disliked the former bantamweight titleholder ever since.

Dillashaw was suspended for two years and has since returned to the octagon with a comeback story in progress. Defeating Cory Sandhagen placed Dillashaw right back into the title picture, and now, the 38-year-old from California is one fight away from becoming a two-time champion.

A strong Div I wrestling background steered Dillashaw into MMA, where he now owns a decade of experience competing at the highest level. Dethroning the 32-fight win streak of Renan Barao was one of the biggest underdog stories in UFC history.

Still, can Dillashaw emulate this underdog position and collect the gold as the unexpected winner again?

T.J. Dillashaw Best Available Odds: (+155) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

Sterling vs. Dillashaw: Breakdown and Analysis

Sterling Fight Style and How Can Sterling Beat Dillashaw?

Submission attempts from trying to take Dillashaw's back is what most of us will expect, but I believe the path to victory for Sterling is to keep this fight active for as long as possible.

The champion’s cardio is elite, and Dillashaw notably looked drained of energy during his return fight against Sandhagen.

Sterling can take over this fight in striking or grappling once Dillashaw tires; early grappling exchanges could favor this approach, but either way, once this fight surpasses the third round, I think it’ll be the champ's fight to lose.

Dillashaw Fight Style and How Can Dillashaw Beat Sterling?

There’s no denying that Dillashaw is a complete fighter, his grappling and striking skills are top-tier, and he’s the former champion for a good reason.

I expect the game plan for the contender would be to keep this fight standing, as the wrestling backgrounds of both men are likely to cancel out the grappling offenses.

This is where Dillashaw can take the lead, but the cardio attributes of Sterling will pose a threat in the later rounds.

Sterling vs. Dillashaw: Betting Picks and Odds

The available odds at top-rated sportsbooks heavily favor Sterling, and with the size and cardio advantage, I agree with the current price.

That said, Dillashaw will realize another title opportunity isn’t going to be easily accessible with a loss this weekend, and you can’t underestimate the diverse striking skills of the former champ.

Durability and cautiousness are the two factors making our wagers on the co-main event more straightforward.

I don’t envision Sterling or Dillashaw finding the finish; the judges will likely decide this contest following a hard-fought five-round battle from both bantamweights.

UFC Pick: Fight Goes the Distance/Yes ( -180) [1.80u to win 1u] at BetOnline

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Fight Goes the Distance/Yes ( -180)
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UFC 280 Main Card and Odds

UFC 280 Preliminary Card and Odds

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.