Merab Dvalishvili And Aljamain Sterling Had 3-Round Battle Before Henry Cejudo Fight

Merab Dvalishvili dominated former two-division champion Henry Cejudo at UFC 298 on Saturday night, but according to his coach Ray Longo, he’d also had an intense three-round battle with former bantamweight champ Aljamain Sterling in the locker room before the fight too.

“He literally fought Aljo, three rounds, f****** brutal,” Longo said on the Anik & Florian podcast. “Little gloves on, swinging for the f****** fences. Like Aljo complains about my boxing class sometimes. That’s way worse what I just saw!

“Dude, they went it at it three [five-minute rounds]. So that’s his second fight of the night. That’s a fact. That’s not even made up. You can check with John Wood, you can check with Aljo.”

“Full blown f******* fight,” Longo continued. “I go ‘Aljo, your cardio looks pretty good, we’re in good shape for your fight that’s in like two months [at UFC 300.’ I mean crazy, the guy’s nuts. No drilling, just complete chaos in that f***** warm up room.”

later in the day Dvalishvili confirmed that’s exactly what happened.

“Yeah [that’s true],” Dvalishvili said on The MMA Hour show. “That’s how we warm up. I like to warm up good. But yeah, we are best friends and training partners. We beat each other [up] and make each other better. Then we are ready for anybody else.”

And Sterling has also backed up what the other two have said, and has the injuries to prove it.

“I spar with Merab for three rounds, three hard rounds,” Sterling said on his YouTube channel. “More of me in a squatted position so my height can drop, getting the absolutely dog s*** kicked out of my calf and he punched me in my eyeball one time, punched me in the back of my head. He did something to my kneecap.

“I was in a fight. I felt afterwards I was in a fight!”

The 33-year-old Dvalishvili is already well known for his incredible cardio, but stories like this suggest that he’s even more of a ‘machine’ than we realized.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.