The brotherhood between Merab Dvalishvili and Aljamain Sterling has presented a unique challenge for UFC matchmakers. The two top-ranked bantamweight fighters have refused to face each other, leading to Dvalishvili temporarily putting his championship aspirations on hold during Sterling's reign in the 135-pound division.
Sterling recently dropped the bantamweight championship to Sean O'Malley at UFC 292. While he's vying for an immediate rematch, he has also expressed his desire for his teammate, Merab Dvalishvili, to contend for the title instead should he not receive that immediate opportunity.
However, this strong camaraderie has garnered criticism from the media and numerous MMA fans, who have taken issue with Dvalishvili's stance throughout the situation. Even UFC President Dana White has publicly criticized the Georgian fighter, raising questions about his initial motivations for joining the organization.
With all that in mind, Merab Dvalishvili recently took to X (formerly Twitter) and brought to the forefront a compelling narrative about media bias in the whole situation. According to him, the contrast becomes more evident with the notably muted response to Sean O'Malley's disregard for Dvalishvili's persistent call-outs in the past:
"Every UFC win since my 1st in 2018 I called out @SugaSeanMMA @ufc and Sean ignored my call outs. I say I don't want to fight my teammate and brother @funkmasterMMA and the media goes crazy! If there is no immediate rematch I am Number 1 for this Title match. There should be NO question."
Check out Dvaslishvili's tweet below:
Merab Dvalishvili's manager challenges UFC president Dana White's criticism
Merab Dvalishvili's manager has fired back at UFC president Dana White's criticism of the fighter's decision to step aside for a potential title shot. White had openly expressed his frustration with Dvalishvili's reluctance to compete against his close friend and training partner, Aljamain Sterling.
Dvalishvili's manager, Oren Hodak, responded by affirming their readiness to vie for the championship and emphasized that neither fighter would harbor resentment if the other got the opportunity.
Hodak's statement conveyed a commitment to the core spirit of determining the world's best fighter. He also dismissed the idea of booking Chito Vera as Sean O'Malley's next opponent. Hodak took to X to fire back at Dana White's criticism, writing:
"I agree, let's find out who the best in the world is. I can tell you it aint #6 Chito Vera. Merab is 100% ready for a title fight in December. Aljo is also ready. Neither will be salty if the other gets it. Let's see if this plays out true to sport and finding out who is the best."
Check out Hodak's tweet below: