During his face-off with Aljamain Sterling at UFC 288, Sean O’Malley had his jacket sneakily taken by Merab Dvalishvili. It happened during the heat of the moment when “Sugar Sean” took off the said piece of clothing, which “The Machine” took advantage of.
O’Malley didn’t seem to take it seriously at first, but now, he is issuing a new response.
Sean O’Malley’s previous response to Merab’s viral moment
Early this month, Sean O’Malley appeared on The MMA Hour and spoke about Merab’s 15 seconds of fame while clad in his red leather jacket. It was a more neutral response, to say the least.
“I thought that dude was my coat guy. I had a coat guy on the night because I knew I was going to take my jacket off, but they didn’t let him in there, so I thought Merab was the coat dude. I handed it to Merab, so I can’t even be mad at Merab.
“I don’t think he’s quite all there, so I don’t want to be a bully, but yeah, he’s a funny character.
“To be honest, he looked good in that jacket. I might send it to him, he probably needs a nice little fashion,” O’Malley added.
Sean O’Malley fires back at Merab
Sean O’Malley spoke about Merab’s viral moment again during an episode of his TimboSugarShow, but this time, with a slightly different tune.
“Merab’s beat good guys, he’s had a good career, and no one gives a f–k,” he said (transcript by MMA Fighting).
“The most exciting thing to ever happen to him was me giving him my jacket to hold, and it’s like he’s running [with it]. He bought a replica, he’s wearing it.
“He’s trying to do as many interviews as he can. He’s like, ‘Holy f–k, this is what it feels like to have anyone give a f–k about me.’
Merab’s been walking around the red jacket, even posing for photos recently. He says he has no plans to take it off until teammate Aljamain Sterling has another successful title defense, to which O’Malley had this to say.
“It’s like, dude, that was three weeks ago, bud. Take it off. It’s not even the real one. It’s the f–ng fake one that you bought, bud.”
Sean O’Malley vs. Merab Dvalishvili?
With this brewing beef and discussion, could fans see a fight between these two top-tier bantamweights some time soon? Highly unlikely.
According to recent reports, Merab is expected to be sidelined for at least three months because of the hand injury he sustained during the Petr Yan fight in March. Dvalishvili had recently undergone surgery and is on the road to recovery.
As for O’Malley, he is still scheduled to face Sterling for the undisputed 135-pound title at UFC 292, despite the champion’s hesitance. And whether or not “Funkmaster” shows up, the number two-ranked O’Malley promises to be there no matter what.
“I’m showing up August 19th, whether Aljo shows up or they put someone else in there. Daddy’s there. Daddy’s main eventing, headlining for the belt. Regardless, whether it’s him or not.”
UFC 292 happens on August 19th in Boston, the company’s first return since 2019. At the co-main event is Zhang Weili’s first title defense as a two-time champion, as she takes on Amanda Lemos.
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