Tuesday, April 23

Sean O’Malley Confirms Showdown with Merab Dvalishvili, UFC Bantamweight’s Top Contender

Highlights

  • Sean O’Malley confirms next title defense against formidable Merab Dvalishvili, acknowledging challenge and promising an electrifying clash of styles.
  • O’Malley denies ducking Dvalishvili, assures fans he’s not avoiding the fight, acknowledges Dvalishvili’s relentless pace and wrestling prowess.
  • O’Malley grants fans’ wish to fight Dvalishvili, humorously mentions adjusting training to ‘shadow wrestle,’ setting the stage for an exciting matchup.



In a highly anticipated announcement, UFC bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley has confirmed that his next title defense will be against the formidable Merab Dvalishvili, the long time No. 1 contender in the division.

Dvalishvili, riding a remarkable 10-fight win streak, poses a significant challenge to O’Malley. Dvalishvili previously rejected a title shot because his best friend Alijamain Sterling was the champion until he suffered a defeat against O’Malley. Following O’Malley’s dominant victory over Marlon Vera at UFC 299, speculation has been rife about his next opponent. ‘Suga’ initially dismissed the Georgian wrestler in favor of his friend, the newly crowned featherweight king Ilia Topuria.

However, Topuria quickly shut down O’Malley’s request to fight him and told him to fight Merab instead. O’Malley is coming off an electrifying performance against the tough Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera. With the victory, ‘Suga’ avenged the only defeat in his UFC career.


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O’Malley quashed any doubts during an episode of his TimboSugarShow podcast, declaring, “Merab’s next. Your wish is granted.”

Since going viral on Dana White’s Contender Series, O’Malley has captivated fans with his dynamic striking and showmanship. Despite his popularity, the UFC star faced criticism from fans who believed he was ducking Dvalishvili. However, O’Malley asserted that avoiding Dvalishvili was never his intention.

“A lot of people said I’m ducking him — I just really am not ducking that little dude,” O’Malley continued. “I like the fight for me. There’s multiple ways to win. I’m excited about the fight now, finally. I was never ducking him, I was just never excited to fight him. He’s just such a, I don’t know — now, is it the right time? Like the ‘Chito’ rematch, the time will come where it’s the right time to fight certain people. Merab’s next, and be careful what you wish for, buddy.”


However, O’Malley acknowledges the challenge Dvalishvili presents, particularly with his relentless pace and wrestling prowess. Jokingly, O’Malley mentioned adjusting his training regimen, saying, “I’m not even going to shadowbox, I’m going to ‘shadow wrestle.’”

The matchup between O’Malley and Dvalishvili promises to be an electrifying clash of styles, with fans eagerly anticipating the showdown between the flashy striker and the relentless grappler.

Dvalishvili has been hurt in several fights due to his pressure fighting style which will give O’Malley confidence he will fight the punch to put his lights out. However, the Georgian star has never been finished and has shown the ability to recover quickly.

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