The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is undoubtedly the biggest platform in the world for MMA fighters to display their octagonal skills. At such a big stage, one cannot let friendships stop them from being the best of the best. Something similar is happening with Merab Dvalishvili, who refused to fight for the UFC bantamweight title because he did not want to fight his old friend and teammate Aljamain Sterling.
The Georgian fighter Dvalishvili is on a 9-win streak in the UFC, and his last two wins were against UFC veterans Peter Yan and Jose Aldo, both by unanimous decision. So, based on merit alone, Dvalishvili definitely deserved the bantamweight title fight, but he reportedly refused.
This did not sit well with many, including the boss, Dana White, who thinks that the UFC is the place to compete if you want to know who the best is. White questioned the Georgian bantamweight’s mindset, and harshly said, “Why did you even get into this sport?
The UFC President further said that if this is Merab’s attitude towards the sport, he can go fight somewhere else, as the UFC is not going to let this continue. “This is not the place for you”– added Dana White
Now that Aljamain Sterling has lost his championship belt to Sean O’Malley, the door is open for Dvalishvili to finally go for the UFC bantamweight title. Even Sterling has recently said that if the rematch between him and ‘Suga’ is not planned, Dvalishvili is the one who deserves the title shot against O’Malley.
Why does Merab Dvalishvili not want to fight for the UFC title?
Merab Dvalishvili and Aljamain Sterling train together at the Serra-Longo Fight Team in New York and are longtime friends. When Merab defeated former champion Peter Yan in his last fight, he had proved enough to get the shot for the bantamweight title. .
However, the Georgian fighter refused to fight the ‘Funkmaster‘, as he thought it would not be a good idea to fight a friend, even if it was for the UFC title. “I understand business and everything, but Aljamain Sterling is my friend and my brother, said Merab Dvalishvili.
Moreover, when asked about his future plans in the octagon interview after the fight against Yan, Dvalishvili replied that he wants to be the champion but will go for the title only when his ‘brother’ Sterling will move to another division.
However, as mentioned above, the way is all clear for Dvalishvili, who is ranked second in the UFC bantamweight rankings. But will he get the title fight this time against O’Malley? What do you think about this? Tell us in the comments!