Champion Aljamain Sterling (21-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) will defend his title against T.J. Dillashaw (17-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC). The bout is currently targeted for UFC 279 on September 10.
UFC 279 does not have an official location or venue at this time, though Boston and Atlanta are in play.
Sterling, 32, has won seven-straight fights including two victories over former champion Petr Yan. After Sterling won the belt by disqualification a UFC 258 in March 2021, he faced criticism and hate from an onslaught of fans for the way in which he won the title. After a neck surgery and recovery, Sterling returned at UFC 273 and defeated Yan by split decision.
Other victories during his current streak include Cory Sandhagen, Pedro Munhoz, Jimmie Rivera, Cody Stamann, and Brett Johns.
Dillashaw, 36, publicly stated since his win over Sandhagen in July 2021 that he was promised a title shot. That victory came by split decision in his first fight since a two-year USADA suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. During the Sandhagen fight, Dillashaw injured his knee. He underwent knee surgery that kept him out of full-on training until recent months.
UFC 279 lineup:
Champion Aljamain Sterling vs. T.J. Dillashaw – for bantamweight title
Norma Dumont vs. Danielle Wolf
Hannah Cifers vs. Melissa Martinez
(Victor Altamirano vs. Daniel da Silva