Back in 2017, Sterling crumbled after attempting a takedown against Marlon Moraes. The kick launched from Moraes landed flush, and the loss ignited a fire under Sterling. The “Funkmaster” captured the UFC bantamweight title six fights later despite taking gold in a controversial manner.
Meanwhile, it was reported recently that Sterling’s teammate Merab Dvalishvili will fight Marlon Moraes on the UFC 266 PPV. The event is headlined by featherweight champion Alexander Volkonovski taking on Brian Ortega.
When asked if the potential showdown harbored sentiments of revenge, Dvalishvili explained to MMA News reporter James Lynch that the Sterling knockout almost seemed like an accident.
“Not really because I believe that was (an) accident. That kind of loss, I don’t think it’s (a) loss because I know Aljo, how good he is. And if they fight each other, from 10 times, Aljo can win 10 times, I believe. That was one chance that Marlon can win the fight. Because I know how Aljo is.” Dvalishvili said.
The #11-ranked bantamweight emphasized that in the end, Sterling is the better mixed martial artist and proved it by capturing 135-pound gold.
“So now, that was so long ago, after this, Aljo win like six or seven or something. Dvalishvili said. Also proved that he’s one of the best. That’s why he’s who he is. And yeah, I don’t look (at it) this way because I know Aljo is better than Marlon.”
With Dvalishvili’s fight around the corner, and his teammate Aljamain Sterling waiting in the wings, iron is sharpening iron as the two prepare for some of their highest-profile fights to date.
This fight will be the #11-ranked Dvalishvili’s ideal opportunity to enter into the higher echelon of the bantamweight division. However, the proud Georgian has already indicated that he would sooner move to 125-pounds before fighting his teammate Aljamain Sterling for the title.