Merab Dvalishvili dominated former bantamweight champion Petr Yan earlier this month, making the former champion look like a shell of his former self. Now he’s revealed that he was suffering from a hand injury ahead of the fight and re-injured it during the bout making the feat even that much more impressive.
“Two weeks before my fight I injured my hand,” he wrote on Instagram along with several bits of photographic evidence. “I was only training with one arm. During the first minutes of my fight, I could feel the pain in my hand, but I was ignoring the pain so I could fight. During the fight I re-injured my hand and I still feel the pain in my hand today.”
The win earned him the unquestionable title shot but he says he will wait to see if his best friend and training partner Aljamain Sterling retains the title when he fights Henry Cejudo in May. The pair have already said they will never fight each other.