Dvalishvili (12-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) did what he does best and put the pressure on Dodson (21-12 MMA, 10-7 UFC) with striking and takedowns over the course of three rounds to win a unanimous decision by scores of 30-27 across the board. He extended his winning streak to five fights.
The bantamweight bout opened up the UFC 252 main card at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN/ESPN+.
Dodson came out and took the center of the octagon and evaded an early spinning backfist attempt from Dvalishvili. Dodson circled the cage, but it was only a matter of time until Dvalishvili got hold of him. He secured a waist lock and spent a good amount of time holding Dodson against the fence, using knees to the legs to take steam of “The Ultimate Fighter” winner. Dodson broke away late, but he couldn’t make much happen in the final 50 seconds.
Dvalishvili returned to applying pressure early in the second frame. He got ahold of Dodson and slammed him to the mat, but he couldn’t secure ground position. Dodson managed to openings to punching combination and leg kicks in the moments he had space, but Dvalishvili was always close and keeping the pressure on while avoiding any massive shots.
With the momentum tipping in Dvalishvili’s favor going into the final round, Dodson showed more urgency in the final frame. Dvalishvili’s motion and aggression kept him at bay, though, and the frustration was obvious. Dvalishvili’s confidence in his striking picked up in a big way down the stretch. He tagged Dodson with a number of hard shots to put his stamp on the fight, winning every round.
Dvalishvili has now won five consecutive fights, including four at bantamweight. Afterward, he called for Sean O’Malley, who meets Marlon Vera in the UFC 252 co-main event.
“That was the biggest test of my career, but it was easy – I’m not even tired,” Dvalishvili said in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. “Good luck, Sean O’Malley. I wish him the best. I hope he wins and I want to see him.”
Up-to-the-minute UFC 252 results include:
- Merab Dvalishvili def. Merab Dvalishvili via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Vinc Pichel def. Jim Miller via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
- Virna Jandiroba def. Felice Herrig via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 1:44
- Danny Chavez def. TJ Brown via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Livinha Souza def. Ashley Yoder via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Chris Daukaus def. Parker Porter via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:28
- Kai Kamaka III def. Tony Kelley via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Original Article posted mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/08/ufc-252-results-merab-dvalishvili-outworks-john-dodson-decision-bantamweight-winning-streak/ by Mike Bohn
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