Aljamain Sterling reveals “the key” for Merab Dvalishvili to defeat new UFC bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley

By Susan Cox - August 29, 2023

Aljamain Sterling is revealing ‘the key’ for Merab Dvalishvili to defeat new UFC bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley.

Merab Dvalishvili, Al Iaquinta and Aljamain Sterling

It’s been just over a week ago that Aljamain Sterling (23-4 MMA) was defeated by Sean O’Malley (17-1 MMA) at UFC 292 which took place at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

‘Suga’ defeated the former bantamweight champion by knockout at 0:51 of Round 2 to claim the title as his own.

‘Funk Master’ would like a rematch with O’Malley, but should that not occur, he’d like to see his teammate, Merab Dvalishvili (16-4 MMA) get the nod.

During a recent episode of ‘The Weekly Scraps’ podcast, Aljamain Sterling spoke about the possibility of a ‘Dvalishvili vs O’Malley’ bout in the Octagon:

“I think Sean will pose some problems (for Dvalishvili) in the striking, I’m not gonna lie, based on the footwork and the movement. But I do think Merab has shown to be very, very patient. That, I think, is the key to beating a guy like Sean. We knew that going in with my fight, preparing for him. The guys he highlights are the guys that run forward or the guys that just walk forward… Plodding, stationary, linear.”

Continuing Aljamain Sterling said (h/t MMANews):

“I think that’s where Merab can make things very tricky for Sean to deal with. Again, for his stuff to work, he has to come forward. When you come forward, you give the grappler an opportunity to grab you. Where Sean has the reach, he has the height, I could see him try to stay long and just throw front kicks the whole time, calf kicks the whole time, long jabs… Same way he was trying to fight me… If Merab stays disciplined for 25 minutes, how does Sean win?”

As to whether a fight between ‘The Machine’ and ‘Suga’ materializes or not, Merab took to ‘X’ to call out the newly crowned champion:

“If Sean O’Malley ducks Aljo for a rematch then I want to beat his skinny ass for the Belt! #numberonecontender#stopthebullshit”

O’Malley seemingly is looking to defend his title against Marlon Vera (21-8 MMA) first. O’Malley’s only professional loss in the cage came against ‘Chito’ back in August of 2020 at UFC 252.

Who would you like to see Sean O’Malley fight for his first title defense – Aljamain Sterling, Marlon Vera or Merab Dvalishvili?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!


Aljamain Sterling Merab Dvalishvili Sean O'Malley UFC