Speaking with MMA News recently, Dvalishvili offered his thoughts on Sterling’s current demands for higher pay before stepping into the Octagon to defend his title again. Dvalishvili said Sterling is a smart man for knowing his worth and holding firm.
“Yeah, he’s a smart man. He’s doing the right thing. Whatever, it’s a business, and we have to negotiate. I mean, he knows his price. Of course, he’s doing the right thing. This is business. They negotiate, they want best for business, and we want best for our family and our self. That’s it.”
Sterling was initially reported to be set to defend his title against TJ Dillashaw. However, Sterling publicly announced that he hasn’t signed anything to make the fight official yet, and he won’t until he receives a pay bump from the UFC.
The UFC bantamweight champion said he’s climbed up the ranks and played his part well in promoting his last fight with Petr Yan, allowing himself to be the bad guy. Now, he’s looking to get what he’s worth.
As for Dvalishvili, he currently sits at No. 6 in the UFC’s bantamweight rankings. He could very well be on the way to a title opportunity himself, with a seven-fight win streak currently on tap.
Dvalishvili is slated to take on former featherweight king José Aldo at UFC 278 on August 20.
What do you make of Merab Dvalishvili siding with Sterling on his stance for higher pay? Let us know in the comments below!