Aljamain Sterling says getting his “ass kicked” by Merab Dvalishvili triggered UFC 267 withdrawal: “It’s never that one-sided”

Merab Dvalishvili, Al Iaquinta and Aljamain Sterling
Via: Aljamain Sterling's Instagram

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.

“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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