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By David Tees on 3/12/2023 5:48 PM

Merab Dvalishvili defeated former UFC Bantamweight Champion Petr Yan by unanimous decision in the main event of UFC Fight Night 221.

A victorious Dvalishvili refuses to face friend and teammate, UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling, and UFC President Dana White believes going in that route is a bad idea for Dvalishvili.

“I don’t remember who the hell I was talking to the other day about this, and I was like, ‘Yeah, we don’t have to deal with that bullsh*t anymore,'” White told reporters during a post-fight news conference (transcript via Matthew Wells of MMA Junkie). “You know, back in the early days, the camps were so small, you didn’t have a lot of different options. So, we had a lot of these guys saying, ‘Oh, he’s my friend, he’s my friend.’ You can still be friends and want what your friend has, you know what I mean? It would be a really bad idea for Merab to go down that path.”

Sterling is expected to defend his title next against former two division UFC champion Henry Cejudo this May at UFC 288.

White also states that fighters behind Dvalishvili can get a title shot ahead of him since Dvalishvili is refusing to fight Sterling.

“Does Merab want a shot at the title or would Merab rather have people under him jump over him, and him have to take on all these different tough guys, when he’s not getting a title shot when he’s next in line for it?” White said. “That’s a personal decision that he needs to make. If that’s what he wants to do, I can tell you how that story ends, and it’s not a good ending to that story. He’s a big boy, he can figure that out on his own.”