Movsar Evloev Urges Action, Sterling & Lopes Respond

Movsar Evloev, after a win over Arnold Allen, is seeking a fight before a potential title shot but faced scheduling conflicts with Aljamain Sterling, leading to a call-out from Diego Lopes, who previously fought Evloev and is eager for a rematch.

Movsar Evloev and Diego Lopes are back at it again.

In January, Evloev clinched a unanimous decision over Arnold Allen at UFC 297. This victory propelled him to No. 5 in the UFC featherweight rankings. The win positioned Evloev as a dark horse contender for the featherweight title. But then, Ilia Topuria dethroned Alexander Volkanovski, throwing the 145-pound title picture into chaos.

Now, Evloev needs at least one more fight before a title shot. Following UFC 300, it seemed that fight would be against former bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling. Both men showed interest in the bout happening next. However, on Friday, things took a turn. Evloev claimed on Twitter that Sterling’s timeline doesn’t match up with his own.

“After all that big talk, Sterling says he won’t be ready until October,” Evloev tweeted. “I can’t just sit and wait for him. I’m ready to go as early as July. I’ll accept a fight with anyone who thinks they have a chance against me. Is there really no one available who’s up for the challenge?”

Sterling fired back on Twitter. “Lol bruuh. He DMs me and I literally told him September-October the latest. I’ve said in every interview after my fight with Kattar that I want to fight in September. I don’t know why he’s trying to say this like I’m avoiding him. I’m the former champ, you fight when I say so.”

“If there’s one thing I hate, it’s lying storytellers,” Sterling added. “I can’t allow this fake bravado to go on. I can’t WAIT to take that ‘0’!”

Evloev and Sterling have been going back and forth about this potential fight for months. It’s possible this is just more angling from Evloev. However, one man didn’t take too kindly to it: Evloev’s former foe, Lopes.

At UFC 300, Lopes scored another first-round victory, this time over Sodiq Yusuff. This win catapulted him into the UFC featherweight rankings at No. 14. After his win, Lopes called for a rematch with Evloev, which Evloev didn’t acknowledge. So when Evloev asked who was “up for the challenge” of facing him, Lopes was more than willing.

“Come on bro, I called you out after my fight at UFC 300, to fight at International Fight Week,” Lopes tweeted. “You didn’t respond or show your face. Now you’re here saying ‘Anyone you think can beat me’ [skeptical emoji].”

Lopes made his UFC debut against Evloev at UFC 288, stepping in on five days’ notice to replace Bryce Mitchell. Despite losing a unanimous decision, Lopes far exceeded expectations. He followed that performance with two first-round finishes, earning MMA Fighting’s 2023 Rookie of the Year honors.


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