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Dana White warns Merab Dvalishvili about refusing to fight teammate Aljamain Sterling for title: ‘Bad idea’

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — Dana White just issued a serious warning to Merab Dvalishvili literally moments after “The Machine” delivered a masterclass performance last night (Sat., March 11, 2023) against Petr Yan at UFC Las Vegas, which took place inside The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada

Indeed, Dvalishvili picked up one of the most dominant wins of his career, routing the former Bantamweight champion via unanimous decision to pick up his ninth consecutive victory.

And it wasn’t even close.

With his win streak and victory over a former champion, Dvalishvili should be next in line to challenge for the division title. However, there is one big problem: Dvalishvili is teammates and great friends with current Bantamweight roost-ruler, Aljamain Sterling, and has said multiple times he will never fight him.

To most, that is understandable, but UFC President, White, thinks that is a terrible idea.

“I don’t remember who the hell I was talking to the other day about this. I was like, ‘yeah, we don’t have to deal with that bullsh—t anymore,” White told the media during the Power Slap post-fight press conference. “You know, back in the early days, the camps were so small, you didn’t have a lot of different options. So, we had a lot of these guys saying, ‘Oh, he’s my friend, he’s my friend.’ You can still be friends and want where your friend has, you know what I mean? It would be a really bad idea for Merab to go down that path.

“Does Merab want a shot at the title, or would Merab rather have people under him jump over him and him have to take on all these different tough guys?” White continued. “That’s a personal decision that he 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.”

It has been a minute since the “teammates not wanting to fight teammates” conversation has reared its head. Famously, Daniel Cormier said he would never fight teammate Cain Velasquez and Anderson Silva said the same about Lyoto Machida.

On the flip side, Kamaru Usman fought teammate Gilbert Burns in 2021, which “Nigerian Nightmare” ended up winning via third round technical knockout (watch highlights).

Time will tell what happens to Dvalishvili, but as of UFC Las Vegas, he would move down to Flyweight rather than fight Sterling.

For complete UFC Las Vegas results and coverage click here.

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