MMA

Merab Dvalishvili was interested in Sean O’Malley – but now he may have to wait

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LAS VEGAS – Merab Dvalishvili beat John Dodson with a unanimous decision Saturday to open up the main card at UFC 252 in Las Vegas.

Take a look inside the fight with Dvalishvili, who has won five straight unanimous decisions since dropping his first two fights in the UFC.

Result: Merab Dvalishvili def. John Dodson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Updated records: Dvalishvili (12-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC), Dodson (21-12 MMA, 10-7 UFC)
Key stat: Dvalishvili attempted 20 takedowns, but got credit for only two officially since Dodson popped back up so quickly on several of them.

Dvalishvili on the fight’s key moment

“In the final round , we signaled to each other, ‘Let’s touch (gloves).’ Once we touched good, I (screamed), ‘Let’s go!’ … Afterward, I controlled my emotions because he’s dangerous.”

Dvalishvili on being a role model

“This is already big for me. I feel this energy. A lot of people – a lot of young kids, also – look up to me and they dream about UFC. I’m happy that I can show them that if you guys work, you can be like me. I’m just beginning. I’m just starting. I can do a lot more.”

Dvalishvili on what he wants next

“A lot of people love this fight (with Sean O’Malley) because I’m a grappler, and he’s a great striker. So this is is going to be a good stylistic fight, so why not? … I’m challenging myself always, and he should challenge himself. … Let him win this fight first, then let him fight me.” (O’Malley lost for the first time in his career.)”

To hear more from Dvalishvili, check out the video of the full post-fight interview above.

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Original Article posted mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/08/merab-dvalishvili-interested-in-sean-omalley-injury-ufc-252-video/ by Matt Erickson

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