Merab Dvalishvili Says He Will ‘Never’ Fight Against His Friend, Aljamain Sterling
Merab Dvalishvili added his seventh victory in a row after winning via KO/TKO over Marlon Moraes at UFC 266 Saturday night.
In the post-fight interview, Dvalishvili (14-4) was asked if he would share the octagon with Petr Yan for an interim title fight because Aljamain Sterling was out from the fight. Merab said that he knew nothing about that.
On Sunday, MMA Fighting reported Sterling pulled out of UFC 267 due to injury. It has not been officially announced.
But before fighting with Moraes (23-9-1), he said that he would not share the octagon with his close friend.
“We are good friends and we’re not going to fight each other. Aljo is champion. I believe he will defend his belt and he will be a champion for a long time. I have to win a couple more fights to fight for the title, but we will figure something out (if I get there). But one thing is for sure: We’re never going to fight. Me and Aljo, we’re never going to fight each other,” Dvalishvili said.
The Georgian fighter scored a massive victory against No. 6 contender Moraes. In the first round, the referee almost stopped the fight. He survived after being stunned and getting knocked down several times. He landed major elbows on the ground.
As he said, and many MMA fans saw, he broke Moraes after eating a punch from his opponent, but still continued to fight. Dvalishvili dominated for the whole second round and earned TKO victory.
It is his first-ever early stoppage victory in the UFC.
He will most likely replace Moraes and become the No. 6 ranked contender, which means that he is one of the next title challengers.