Aljamain Sterling is open to fighting training partner Merab Dvalishvili if the UFC offers up “NFL money”

By Susan Cox - March 16, 2023

Aljamain Sterling is open to fighting training partner Merab Dvalishvili if the UFC offers up ‘NFL money’.


Sterling (22-3 MMA) is currently on an eight-fight winning streak, his latest victory coming via TKO against T.J. Dillashaw (17-5 MMA) in October of last year at UFC 280.

The current UFC bantamweight champion is scheduled to fight Henry Cejudo (16-2 MMA) on May 6th at UFC 288 which takes place at the Prudential Center, in Newark, New Jersey.

Sterling sat down with Robbie Fox on a recent edition of ‘My Mom’s Basement’ and discussed the possibility of fighting his close friend and teammate Merab Dvalishvili (h/t MMANews):

“I mean it’s his business, so I know for him he’s gonna try to make the matchups that the fans wanna see. I know the fans would love to see that. Dude, we do more than enough in the room with each other already. You know, Merab’s a great dude. He would take his shirt off for anybody, he doesn’t even have to know you, you know? He’s just that type of a guy. To have that relationship with him and to throw it away for, 500K? You know what I mean?”

When asked if Sterling and Dvalishvili had ever discussed fighting a competitive (but still friendly) match, ‘Funk Master’ said:

“No, we never talked about that. And for us to fight for that kind of money just doesn’t make a ton of sense. Now if we were talking like NFL money, money that can actually – these guys make $50 million for like one or two years, you know what I mean? That’s life changing…You see what I’m saying? It’s just like why would we ever cross that type of line to do something that’s not even gonna last us – that’s something that could set us up financially for the rest of our lives. And that’s just not worth it for me.”

Merab Dvalishvili (16-4 MMA) is hot off a unanimous decision victory over Petr Yan (16-5 MMA) this past Saturday, March 11th, bringing his current winning streak to 9 in a row.

Would you like to see Sterling and Dvalishvili battle it out in the Octagon?

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Aljamain Sterling Merab Dvalishvili UFC