UFC champ Aljamain Sterling successfully defends title with TKO in Abu Dhabi


Uniondale’s Aljamain Sterling successfully defended his UFC bantamweight title with a second-round TKO of TJ Dillashaw at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi Saturday night, improving to 22-3.

This was his second title defense.

He trained on Long Island for the matchup. Earlier this month, Sterling was at LAW MMA in Garden City prepping for the fight when he spoke with Greater Long Island.

One of his training partners that day was Merab Dvalishvili, the No. 3 rank Bantamweight fighter in the division.

Here’s what he told about his training leading up to the big fight.

“We’re trying to make it really, really tough [on me] — trying to push the pace,” Sterling had said.

Saturday night, all that work proved effective in his co-main match.

The main event was between Charles Oliveira (33-8) and Islam Makhachev (22-1) for the lightweight championship belt.

Makhachev won.

Some were calling it the best fight card of the year.

Sterling is Long Island’s third-ever champ. The others are Baldwin’s Chris Weidman (middleweight, from 2013-15) and East Meadow’s Matt Serra (welterweight, from 2007-08).

Top: Aljamain Sterling working out in Garden City earlier this month. (Andrew Theodorakis)