Coach reveals Merab Dvalishvili fought Aljamain Sterling for three rounds before UFC 298 win over Henry Cejudo

Merab Dvalishvili fought Aljamain Sterling for three rounds before beating Henry Cejudo at UFC 298

UFC bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili confirms backstage sparring story prior to his UFC 298 win this past weekend. 

After beating Henry Cejudo over three rounds, Dvalishvili has now beaten three former champions in his past three fights. The proud Georgian would outpace and out-grapple the former Olympic gold medallist, securing himself a shot at the 135lb title. 

It was a classic Dvalishvili performance filled with relentless pace and pressure, the 33-year-old never seems to slow down no matter how many takedowns he may attempt. 

What could make the result even better is that according to Merab Dvalishvili’s coach, Ray Longo, the No.1 ranked bantamweight went an intense 3×5 minute rounds with Aljamain Sterling as a part of the warmup. 

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“Literally fought Aljo three rounds,” Longo said on The Anik & Florian Podcast. “Like f***ing brutal, little gloves on, swinging for the f***ing fences. Like Aljo complains about my boxing class sometimes, but that’s way worse what I just saw. Dude, they went at it three-five, so yeah, that’s the second fight of the night.”

Appearing on the MMA Hour yesterday, Dvalishvili confirmed the series of events, even claiming that the rounds with Sterling were harder than the actual fight. 

“Yeah, yeah,” Dvalishvili answered. “That’s how we warm up, we are best friends, training partners, we beat each other and make each other better and then we are ready for anybody else.”

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Dana White confirms Merab Dvalishvili title shot next 

While UFC CEO White claims he does not make fights the night of an event, during the post-fight media conference would at least confirm that Dvalishvili would be next. He will face either Sean O’Malley or Marlon Vera with the pair fighting for the belt on March 9.

“He looked good tonight, man,” White said. “He did what he had (to do).”

Will Merab Dvalishvili become UFC champion?