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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White is not at all happy with Merab Dvalishvili.
There is little to no doubt that “The Machine” has earned a UFC title shot. The 32-year-old Georgian is riding a massive nine-fight win streak that includes victories over former champions like Jose Aldo and Petr Yan. He’s been very dominant, making a case for himself as the best Bantamweight in the world.
Historically, the issue has been his longtime friendship with Aljamain Sterling. Since Sean O’Malley knocked out Sterling (watch it here), however, that should be a non-issue, right? Shockingly, Dvalishvili is campaigning for Sterling to get an instant rematch rather than chasing his own opportunity, and he’s willing to wait as long as is necessary.
White has already advised Dvalishvili that this attitude is a bad idea, and he didn’t hold back in addressing Dvalishvili during Tuesday’s post-fight press conference. In fact, White suggested that the streaking contender perhaps isn’t a good fight for the UFC at all.
“Everybody in this room, and everyone watching this video knows how I feel about this s—t,” White responded when asked about Dvalishvili passing up a potential title shot. “I hate it. Why did you even get into this sport? If that’s your mentality and the way that you think: ‘I don’t want the title, I don’t want the championship, we’re friends, we’re this, we’re that.’
... This is not about friendship. This is about finding out who the best in the world is, and if you don’t want to find out who the best in the world is, this is not the place for you. You should be somewhere else. There’s plenty of places to fight where they don’t give a s—t what you do. It doesn’t work here.”
Hopefully, cooler heads can prevail, as Dvalishvili is an elite Bantamweight contender and genuine threat to O’Malley’s new reign. He deserves to be in the mix, but top talents have been released before for frustrating the promotion’s top executives. However, if he absolutely refuses to fight for the belt, it’s hard to justify giving him priority over hungry would-be contenders like Marlon Vera or Cory Sandhagen.
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One of those uncomfortable leg-twisting KOs ...
Midnight Music: Punk, 1978
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.