Merab Dvalishvili takes aim at referee Marc Goddard for “another early stoppage” in Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O’Malley

By Harry Kettle - August 21, 2023

Merab Dvalishvili has taken a shot at Marc Goddard for what he deemed to be an early stoppage in the UFC 292 main event between Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley.

Sean O'Malley Aljamain Sterling UFC 292

In the main event of UFC 292 last weekend, Aljamain Sterling went head to head with Sean O’Malley. He was hoping to successfully defend his bantamweight championship once again, but instead, he was TKO’d in the second round by ‘Suga’. In the process, of course, he lost his belt, but some have questioned whether or not it was an early stoppage.


Sterling certainly wasn’t out cold, and he was doing everything in his power to defend intelligently. On the flip side, O’Malley was throwing nasty shots, and the popular opinion is that things would’ve gotten much worse for Aljamain if it was allowed to continue.

In the eyes of his friend and teammate Merab Dvalishvili, however, he should’ve been given the chance to go out on his shield.

Dvalishvili defends Sterling

“Another F***ing Early Stoppage! I pray that me or my teammates don’t have Mark Goddard in the cage again. We are FIGHTERS … let us fight til the end ! #UFC292”

Merab was clearly upset to see his friend go out like that, especially given all he’d achieved as champion. At the same time, the groundwork is already being laid for quite the story in this division.

Dvalishvili is coming off the back of a dominant win over Petr Yan. For many, this was enough to earn him a crack at the championship. If he’s able to get healthy in time, perhaps he could be the next man to step up and take on O’Malley.

Are you excited by the idea of Merab Dvalishvili facing Sean O’Malley? Is he right about the stoppage? Let us know, BJPENN Nation!


Aljamain Sterling Merab Dvalishvili Sean O'Malley UFC