Despite Dana White’s warning, Merab Dvalishvili maintains his reluctance to fight Aljamain Sterling, whom he considers a friend and a brother

At UFC Las Vegas last Saturday, Dvalishvili delivered a dominant performance against former bantamweight champion Petr Yan, which would typically earn him a shot at the title.

However, his friendship with the current champion, Aljamain Sterling, has caused both fighters to reject the idea of a fight. This has become a point of contention for UFC President Dana White, who considers Dvalishvili’s loyalty to be a “really bad idea.”

In a recent interview, Dvalishvili mentioned that this was not the first time White had addressed the matter.

“I saw this, and it wasn’t the first time,” he said. “The first time he spoke to me about this was after I defeated Jose Aldo, and Joe Rogan asked me the same question. I clearly said, ‘Please don’t ask me these questions again.’ I was angry because people were asking me before the fight, ‘If you win, will you fight Aljo?’

I responded with, ‘Let me fight, let me win. Why are you asking me now?’ I was fed up with people asking the same question, and Aljo already had a scheduled fight. I was honest, and when we met Dana White after the fight, he was talking to my coach and said, ‘He shouldn’t mention that.’

“After that, the matchmaker, Sean Shelby, said that he couldn’t give me the Sean O’Malley fight, he couldn’t give me the Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera fight, he couldn’t give me the Cory Sandhagen fight, or even the Petr Yan fight because if I defeated them, then I wouldn’t fight my friend for the title.

I understand it’s a business, and I was disappointed that there were no fights for me. But fortunately, Petr pushed the fight and they gave me the opportunity to fight him. I’m pleased and grateful for that.”

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