- Dana White doesn’t want to dwell on the drama regarding Merab Dvalishvili possibly refusing to fight his friend Aljamain Sterling in a possible title fight
- The UFC boss is letting “The Machine” decide for himself
Merab Dvalishvili made himself worthy of a title shot after beating Petr Yan with a dominant performance at UFC Vegas 71. However, has become apparent that as much as possible, “The Machine” doesn’t want to take on his friend and teammate Aljamain Sterling.
UFC wants no drama
Speaking to reporters during a recent press conference, UFC president Dana White blatantly dismissed any drama involving Dvalishvili possibly not opting to take a crack at UFC gold because the champ has been his teammate at Serra-Longo fight team.
For White, the promotion has had enough of it and these fighters can still be friends even if batter each other up inside the Octagon.
“It’s so funny to say that because I don’t remember who the hell I was talking to the other day about this and I was like, ‘Yeah, we don’t have to deal with that bullsh*t anymore.’ Back in the early days, the camps were so small you didn’t have a lot of different options so we [didn’t have] a lot of these guys saying, ‘Oh, he’s my friend, he’s my friend.’ You could still be friends and want where your friend has you know what I mean?,” White pointed out.
It’s up to Merab
White also laid out all the possible scenarios for Dvalishvili now that he is on course to becoming a title contender. The UFC boss stressed that in the end, it’s up to “The Machine” to make a decision.
“It would be a really bad idea for Merab to go down that path… Does Merab want a shot at the title or Merab rather have people under him jump over him and him have to take on all these different tough guys when he’s not even getting a title shot when he’s next in line for it. That’s a personal decision he (Merab Dvalishvili) needs to make. If that’s what he wants to do, I can tell you how that story ends. It’s not a good ending to that story. But, he’s a big boy, he can figure that out on his own,” he added.
As it turns out, Dvalishvili may have already made up his mind during his UFC Vegas 71 post-fight press conference. As per “The Machine,” he will face anybody the UFC puts in front of him, and taking on a friend like Sterling is even “a good problem” to have.
Dvalishvili managed to remain unbeaten in his last nine trips to the Octagon. Sterling, meanwhile, will be defending his bantamweight title for the third time against returning former UFC champ-champ Henry Cejudo at UFC 288.