Aljamain Sterling (left) is favored in the Sterling vs Dillashaw odds

Sterling vs Dillashaw Odds Analysis and Pick: T.J. Offers Good Value As Underdog

After silencing the doubters in his last title defense against Petr Yan, Aljamain Sterling (21-3) looks to tackle his next challenge in the bantamweight division as he takes on second-ranked T.J. Dillashaw (18-4) for the 135-pound belt at UFC 280.

The Sterling-Dillashaw showdown will serve as the co-main event on October 22 in Abu Dhabi. 

“Funk Master” Sterling, who is riding a seven-fight win streak that spans four years, opens as the early favorite in his third consecutive title fight. He’s listed at -174 in the Sterling vs Dillashaw odds.

You can check out UFC odds among other betting markets at Sportsbook.

Aljamain Sterling vs T.J. Dillashaw Betting Odds

Online sportsbook Sportsbook has you covered for all the UFC 280 odds, where right now the champ Sterling sits as a -179 favorite, with the underdog Dillashaw coming in at +140.  That means folks who bet on the champion must wager $179 to generate potential winnings of $100, while a successful $100 bet on the challenger would earn a profit of $140. 

Sterling vs Dillashaw Odds
Aljamain Sterling-179
T.J. Dillashaw+140

Odds as of October 22 at Sportsbook

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A closer look at those odds using our sports betting calculator tells us Sterling enters the five-round fight with a 64.16 percent implied win probability, compared to Dillashaw’s 41.67 percent implied chance of snatching the belt.  

A tantalizing showdown between two bantamweight studs offers an excellent opportunity for first-time UFC bettors to learn the ropes. Our How to Bet on UFC guide provides tips on round betting, fight outcomes and much more.

We’ve also compiled a list of the best UFC betting sites to help you decide where to bet on the UFC. All your UFC betting news can be found here at Odds Shark.

Sterling vs Dillashaw Odds Analysis: The Champ Finally Gets Some Respect

The odds — and opponents — Aljo has faced along the way are evidence that the champ’s journey to the top has not been easy. The battle between Sterling and Petr Yan at UFC 259, in which Sterling was a +100 underdog, ended after Yan illegally kneed Sterling, handing the New York native a controversial bantamweight championship.

After that showdown, the narrative around Sterling soured a bit, and at UFC 273, he faced Yan again as a much steeper +300 underdog. The 32-year-old wrestled his way to a split-decision victory in a fiercely contested bout, demonstrating why he’s a deserving favorite against Dillashaw.

Dillashaw On A Mission To Restore His Legacy

Dillashaw approaches UFC 280 as one of the most successful UFC bantamweights, albeit with a clouded legacy of late. In 2019, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency slapped the California-born fighter with a two-year suspension after he tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance, which resulted in him being stripped of his belt.

The second-ranked bantamweight returned to the Octagon last summer in a Fight Night main event against Cory Sandhagen. A +165 underdog, the five-foot-six fighter shook off a bit of rust, trading evenly with the much taller Sandhagen on the ground and the feet before eking out a bloody split-decision victory. 

At +140 against Sterling and now the underdog in three of his last five bouts, Dillashaw finds himself in familiar territory. He’s been in the fight game a long time, so when the cage door shuts on October 22, he will look to build off his latest win with another sound performance. 

Sterling vs Dillashaw Betting Preview

Aljo’s wrestling made all the difference for him in his last bout with Yan, when he controlled the top or took the Russian’s back to win Rounds 2 and 3. This time, Sterling’s performance on the mat will be even more critical.

Sterling leads all active bantamweights in control time (57:30) while ranking fourth in top position time (38:35). He had it relatively easy against Yan, whom he smothered for over eight minutes of control time at UFC 273. Dillashaw won’t go quietly fighting off his back the way Yan did. 

T.J. rarely ever accepts vulnerable wrestling positions, which is evident in his outrageous 0.54 bottom percentage time, the second-best mark among active bantamweights. Dillashaw is also more accurate than Sterling at shooting for takedowns (30% vs 21%) while defending takedowns at a dramatically better clip (86% vs 41%), though it’s worth noting that Sterling, a submission artist, is OK to let fighters take him to the ground.

Dillashaw’s numbers look more polished, though Sterling has plenty of experience, too. Regardless of who wins, this bout looks destined to be decided on the ground.

Dillashaw Holds Striking Advantage

The last time Dillashaw met a talented wrestler was in a 2019 flyweight matchup against Henry Cejudo, who boasts a heavy wrestling background, including a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

A -210 favorite in that bout, he chose to stand in front of Cejudo and challenge his striking. Cejudo wound up clipping Dillashaw with a sharp right hand, then securing the TKO after 32 seconds.

That strategy failed miserably for the ex-champ, but after two years off — and coming off a battle with a proficient striker in Sandhagen — T.J. is stronger than Sterling on the feet. “Killashaw” earned his violent nickname over the years by piling up seven KO/TKO wins, the most in bantamweight history. 

Dillashaw has more experience in gritty standup battles, while also being a higher-volume striker (3.27 significant strikes attempted per minute) than Sterling (2.24), giving him the advantage if this fight stays upright.

All-Time Status On The Line For T.J.

Dillashaw is on the verge of all-time status. With a win at UFC 280, the 36-year-old would become the second three-time champion in UFC history. Randy Couture is the only other fighter to accomplish the feat, winning his third light heavyweight title in 2002. 

The PED suspension spoils his legacy, but a win over Sterling would make Dillashaw’s resume undeniable. He has five title wins already, the most in bantamweight history, including victories over prime versions of Renan Barao and Cody Garbrandt. Another date with UFC gold adds a cherry on top. 

Sterling vs Dillashaw Betting Pick

In his rematch with Yan, Sterling showed his chops as a well-round mixed martial artist, competing on the feet and making up the points when the fight went to the mat. Unfortunately for Sterling, Dillashaw is also incredibly well-rounded with a history as an energetic wrestler who can pummel an opponent in a variety of ways.

There’s nice value right now for a bet on the underdog Dillashaw, who might just be ready to reclaim his spot atop the bantamweight division and make history in the process.

Bet on Sterling vs Dillashaw Here

Prediction: T.J. Dillashaw Via Decision (+300)

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