Sterling ran away from Ian again. So maybe his friend Dvalishvili will cover it?


Sterling ran away from Ian again. So maybe his friend Dvalishvili will cover it?

Aljamein Sterlin G withdrew from the rematch against Peter Jan. Someone might say that this is expected. And he will be right. But it seems that Sterling will have to be forgotten for at least a month, until the winner of the fight, Peter Yan, is revealed against Sterling’s replacement, or even for six months. With No Mercy leading the card, its management is looking for a new rival urgently. These words were confirmed by his manager Sayat Abdrakhmanov , as well as the fact that now Peter will fight for the interim title. Apparently, Dana White will not deprive Sterling of the championship belt.

In the bantamweight division, there is very tough competition and, fortunately, the choice of an opponent is very rich. “I don’t want to choose” – as they say. Literally immediately, information appeared that the reigning champion could be replaced by Corey Sandhagen. Yes, this is the most obvious candidate. But they decided to fantasize about who is more profitable for Peter to fight or simply more useful.

Corey Sandhagen

According to some sources, it is Corey, most likely, will be released instead of Sterling. Yes, Corey lost his last fight to TJ Dillashaw. But how did he lose it? Separate close decision, where everything was thin. Then the fighters rolled, as Gennady Golovkin would say, Big Drama Show. Plus Corey has personal scores with Sterling, whom he lost in the second minute of the first round by submission.

Since then, Sandhagen has taken a quantum leap forward, knocking out Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar in less than two rounds. Despite being very boring from a marketing point of view, it is extremely inconvenient due to its anthropometry. Weighing 61 kg, Corey is 180 cm tall. This is 10 cm more than Peter’s. Therefore, Sandhagen should not be underestimated. He is a very dangerous and underappreciated opponent.

Yes, Corey will be the underdog on paper, but it will only play into the hands of the American. For it is not the first time for him to act as a dark horse. Moreover, Corey has seriously progressed in recent years, which he showed in the fight with T.J. He definitely deserves a title shot. Peter will have to seriously strain, and perhaps even more than with Sterling.


If Peter won the rematch, the next fight would definitely be against T.J. Dillashaw. And that would be great. As everyone loves to say now, a “win-win” situation is for both the fans and the fighters themselves. But, unfortunately, TJ is now undergoing rehabilitation after leg surgery. And so we just have to dream that their duel will someday take place.

Cody Garbrandt

One of the brightest fighters in the division. He can give shows both inside and outside the octagon. Fighters like Cody Garbrandt are a rare find, an industry gem. But his position is not as strong as in 2016, when he declassified Dominic Cruz and became the UFC champion. In 2017 and 2018, the position of the American was shaken by T.J. Dillashaw with two knockouts. Plus, Cody lost to Rob Font this year.

So he has accumulated four losses in the last five fights. As a result, Garbrandt is ranked seventh in the flyweight rankings. He stands behind Marlon Moraes, who also has four defeats in his last five fights. Therefore, this option can be swept aside. And it’s hard to believe that No Love will agree to enter the octagon on short notice one month before the tournament.

Merab Dvalishvili

Why not? A friend of Aljamein Sterling, especially from Georgia, which, to put it mildly, is not friendly with Russia in the geopolitical space. In a recent interview, he admitted that he disliked Peter as a person. And for such words you need to answer with deeds. He showed his class, knocking out Marlon Moraes in the second round in the just passed UFC 266. It is worth recalling that Dvalishvili received a bonus for the best performance of the evening for that performance.

Now Merab comes with a series of seven victories, which were won strictly within the UFC, which only adds weight to the Georgian. Moreover, after defeating the Brazilian, he should definitely rise from his 11th position and bypass Moraes, who is in sixth place.

The top 5 now looks like this: Ian, Dillashaw, Sandhagen, Font, Aldo. Knowing about the ambitions and hunger of victories of the Georgian, I would like to believe that he may well agree to go to the title fight in a short time. Thus, it will be possible to maintain the history of enmity between Ian and Sterling and not have to come up with a new one. In addition, Merab said that he wanted to win the belt, but would not fight for it against his friend Aljo. Why not do it in a fight with Jan?

Rob Font

No. 4 Flyweight. In May of this year, he took apart Cody Garbrandt. But Rob is suspended for 180 days for medical reasons, which leaves him without a contract for the next fight. That is, Font will not be able to enter the octagon until the end of November.

With all this, it is a very worthy replacement for Sterling, especially considering that he challenged Peter after defeating Garbrandt. That is, if you remove the disqualification from Font, he will probably agree to fight for the belt, especially with Ian, perhaps the most desired opponent in the entire division according to the version of most fighters.

Actually Font is a versatile fighter, combining striking and wrestling techniques equally well. Despite being 34 years old, Rob is a very tough fighter. Over the past three years, the American has had four bouts, which he won. Incidentally, three of them have covered the full distance. Potentially a very worthy and at the same time dangerous replacement. It will be very difficult for Peter with such a tough opponent.

Jose Aldo

One of the most respected fighters in the division. Aldo is 35 years old and the years take their toll. Of the entire list, the Brazilian seems to be the most passable opponent for Peter, especially since our fighter dealt with the MMA legend without any problems. For years of service, Aldo deserves a title shot up front. In addition, he is in a high fifth place in the ranking of one of the most competitive weight categories. And it’s worth a lot. But will Jose agree to go to the title on short notice? Recall, the last time he went to the octagon in August this year.

Henry Sejudo

The most unreal, but at the same time the most ideal. They also have their own history, which is hard to forget. In case you forgot, then they constantly spoil each other on social networks. And as we know, enmity is the perfect ground for the promotion of the fight. And here you don’t need to invent anything, everything is already ready. Although everything here comes down to a few “buts”. Henry retired from MMA over a year ago. This is a lot, so we run into the second “but”. By itself, the annual downtime is not so much, but it is impossible to reach peak conditions in one month. This is why this fight is the most surreal alongside TJ Dillashaw in rehab.

Unfortunately, taking Sterling off is bad for another reason. In addition to the fact that Aljamein will retain the belt of the regular champion, our fighter will lose money, since he will definitely lose in the number of PPV. Moreover, Ian – Sterling is a serious and long-term enmity. And this is what the audience loves. One month is not enough for the promotion of the battle to such momentum as Peter and Aljemain reached. Therefore, UFC 267 risks not becoming the largest and coolest tournament of the fall. And all because one paper champion did not want to part with his belt.


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