Aljamain Sterling has revealed that training with Merab Dvalishvili helped him realise that he wasn’t healthy enough to compete at UFC 267.
Next weekend, Petr Yan will meet Cory Sandhagen with the winner walking home as the UFC interim bantamweight champion. The match-up was initially supposed to see Sterling defending the undisputed strap against former champion Yan in a rematch of their controversial showdown earlier this year. However, continued neck issues have prevented it from taking place.
In a recent interview, Sterling spoke about how his teammate Dvalishvili actually helped him to understand something wasn’t right.
UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling has been pulled from his title defense against Petr Yan at UFC 267, sources tell @bokamotoESPN.
Sterling was denied medical clearance by doctors and UFC is discussing the creation of an interim title in Sterling’s absence, per sources. pic.twitter.com/WpZJHAmIeF
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 27, 2021
“I was not fun to be around. Ray [Longo] was like, ‘Dude, I haven’t seen you smile in God knows how long.’ I was like, ‘I’m not happy. I’m getting my ass kicked in training. Like, I know Merab’s good, but we battle. It’s never that one-sided.’ He was like, ‘Yeah, well, you know, he’s peaking.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I know, even when he’s peaking in the past, it’s never been this one-sided. There’s clearly something going on.’ And here we are.”
Quotes via MMA News
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