Merab Dvalishvili

Merab Dvalishvili criticizes Marc Goddard’s stoppage of Aljamain Sterling fight at UFC 292

Top contender Merab Dvalishvili criticized referee Marc Goddard’s stoppage of the recent Aljamain Sterling fight at UFC 292.

Sterling was finished by strikes at the hands of Sean O’Malley in the main event of UFC 292, losing the UFC bantamweight title in the process. For O’Malley, it was by far the biggest win of his MMA career, and he’s a UFC champion today. But for Sterling, it is a bitter pill to swallow that he ended up losing his title belt.

One of the reasons the loss was so tough for Sterling was that the stoppage seemed a bit early to some observers of the bout, including his teammate Dvalishvili. Speaking to in a recent interview, Dvalishvili criticized the referee Goddard for what he perceived was an early stoppage.

“It was my opinion, as a fighter, I say it was an early stoppage,” Dvalishvili said. “Me for example, when I’m fighting, I rather die. I rather go out. I rather sleep. I don’t want you to save me, I’m a fighter. That’s why I’m preparing. I rather get knocked out because we need months, sometimes one year, to fight. It’s not like we’re fighting every day. You see now what happened to the champion. If you gave them a chance, it wasn’t a cold knockout, you know. That was it, but Aljo handled it very well like a champion. Me, right away, I was screaming, ‘Early stoppage. Early stoppage.’”

Regardless of what Sterling or Dvalishvili feel about the stoppage, it’s worth noting that the official result of the bout won’t change because of what they feel was an early stop to the bout. O’Malley is now the champion, and the best the two teammates can hope for is that Dvalishvili gets a chance to avenge the loss.

Do you agree with Merab Dvalishvili that the Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O’Malley fight at UFC 292 was stopped too early by referee Marc Goddard?

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