Merab Dvalishvili was supporting his friend and teammate, Aljamain Sterling, in his attempt to defend the bantamweight strap against Sean O’Malley at UFC 292. However, he has found another reason to be upset, other than his friend losing.
Dvalishvili has made it clear that he was supporting then-champ Sterling at UFC 292, despite the fact that he is a top contender for the 135lb belt, himself. One could easily argue that the fact O’Malley got the victory on Saturday night, finishing Sterling by TKO in the second round, was a benefit to the Georgian fighter, but that did not seem to matter in his mind.
Merab Dvalishvili Blasts Marc Goddard
The way in which Sean O’Malley finished Aljamain Sterling in the UFC 292 main event drew a lot of comparisons to the way Conor McGregor beat Jose Aldo. On the other hand, there was a portion of the population who seemed to think the stoppage from referee Marc Goddard was less than perfect, and it seems that Merab Dvalishvili is among that group.
Taking to Twitter after the fight, Dvalishvili went off on Goddard for what he felt was an early stoppage. He even went so far as to state that he hopes to never have Goddard as the third man in the Octagon for one of his fights in the future.
“Another Fucking Early Stoppage! I pray that me or my teammates don’t have Mark Goddard in the cage again. We are FIGHTERS … let us fight til the end !” Dvalishvili wrote.
Another Fucking Early Stoppage! I pray that me or my teammates don't have Mark Goddard in the cage again. We are FIGHTERS … let us fight til the end ! #UFC292
— Merab “The Machine” Dvalishvili (@MerabDvalishvil) August 20, 2023
There is certainly an argument to the idea that the timing on the stoppage from Marc Goddard was not perfect, but when refereeing at such a high level, stoppages rarely are. Nevertheless, it is nice to see Merab Dvalishvili sticking up for his friend, both in victory and defeat.
Read also: 5 Positives & 1 Negative From UFC 292: Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O’Malley