Top bantamweight contender Merab Dvalishvili is not a fan of former bantamweight champion Petr Yan. The pair are scheduled to fight at the UFC Fight Night 221 later this week.
Before to their main event fight on Saturday, Dvalishvili (15-4 MMA, 8-2 UFC) called Yan (16-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC) a litany of slurs and expletives during a UFC Fight Night 221 pre-fight news conference on Wednesday. According to Dvalishvili, the rivalry has a number of historical roots.
“I have many reasons,” Dvalishvili told reporters during the press conference. “First, this fight is not only a fight. It’s personal to me. He’s from Russia, I’m from Georgia. We all know Russia what they’re doing to Ukraine now, what they did to Georgia. Russia is not a (politically) democratic country. I know I want to win for my people. I have so much support from my country and so much support from Ukraine, too.
“Petr is a great fighter. He is a former champion. We all know he’s tough. As a fighter, he’s a great fighter. He’s dangerous. He doesn’t have holes anywhere. He’s a good striker. He is a good striker. He defends wrestling good. His cardio is good. This is my toughest fight. And I have other reasons. I think he’s a great fighter, a good family guy, but he’s not a humble guy. He’s not a great human. It doesn’t matter how good of a fighter you are, you have to be a good person.”
Merab Dvalishvili insists Petr Yan is not a good person
Dvalishvili also expressed his outrage about Yan’s unlawful knee to Aljamain Sterling, his training partner and current UFC bantamweight champion. Yan failed to fulfil his end of a bet related to a rematch against Sterling, according to Dvalishvili.
“His friend Anatoly Malykhin, he’s a One FC double champion,” Dvalishvili said. “He’s Petr’s big friend. And he said, ‘Petr’s going to win this fight and let’s bet $50,000 on Aljo winning.’ We made a bet and all of his country and all of our country knew about it. It was a big deal. Of course, Aljo won and beat Petr. This guy asked me to give him my account number to deposit money. He never sent me money after he said he would fight in One FC and One FC would send me money directly. They never sent me.”
“What kind of man he is?” Dvalishvili said. “He’s not a good man and he’s not a man. I hope Anatoly is a man of his word and he’s going to do the right thing and he’s going to pay me. If not, I’m going to Thailand and I’m going to find him.” (H/T – MMAjunkie.com)