Sean O’Malley Listens to Fans, Picks Merab Dvalishvili for Next Fight after UFC 299

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Sean O’Malley concedes to fan pushback, declares Merab Dvalishvili next after UFC 299

Sean O’Malley has pivoted his fight plans in response to the resounding chorus of fans’ voices clamoring for a showdown with Merab Dvalishvili.

Last Saturday, Dvalishvili stretched his winning streak to an impressive 10 consecutive victories by decisively defeating Henry Cejudo at UFC 298 in Anaheim, Calif. Following this triumph, Dvalishvili wasted no time in calling out O’Malley, who happened to be ringside for the event.

However, the UFC bantamweight champion initially hesitated, expressing his desire for a bout against the newly crowned featherweight champion, Ilia Topuria, following his upcoming match against Marlon “Chito” Vera at UFC 299.

Yet, O’Malley has since changed his tune, swayed by the overwhelming feedback from fans.

Sean O’Malley
Sean O’Malley (Credits: MMA Fighting)

In a video shared on his YouTube Channel, O’Malley addressed the shift in his plans: “Let me clarify: initially, I was set on fighting Ilia. That was the matchup I wanted, and I believed it would excite the fans too. But I received a lot of pushback, with many insisting, ‘You’re avoiding Merab! It’s Merab’s turn!’ So, Merab it is. Let’s make it happen.”

The potential showdown between O’Malley and Dvalishvili already carries some history.

O’Malley claimed the 135-pound title by defeating Aljamain Sterling, a close friend and training partner of Dvalishvili, at UFC 292. Prior to the event, tensions flared when Dvalishvili playfully took O’Malley’s jacket during a faceoff between O’Malley and Sterling.

Confident in his abilities, O’Malley foresees a similar outcome against Dvalishvili: “I’m telling you, I will knock out Merab. After witnessing Henry vs. Aljo, I confidently predicted I’d knock out Aljo, despite skeptics insisting otherwise. Now, here we are again. Granted, I have to focus on Chito first, but mark my words, when I face Merab, he’s getting knocked out. He’s sloppy, I’m precise, fast, and sharp. I’ll switch his lights off, even harder than I did with Aljo.”

However, O’Malley isn’t completely abandoning the idea of facing Topuria. He acknowledges that while the Topuria bout may be postponed, Dvalishvili has rightfully earned his shot, not just through his fighting prowess, but also through his actions outside the octagon.

“The fight with Ilia can still happen down the line,” O’Malley affirmed. “As long as he continues his journey and I continue mine, that’s a significant matchup for the future. Ultimately, I’m here to give the fans what they want – the biggest fights possible. And credit to Merab, he’s stepped up his game, not just inside the cage but also on social media. He’s being true to himself, goofy persona and all, and it’s working for him. So, Merab it is next.”

Directing a message to Dvalishvili, O’Malley expressed his hopes for Dvalishvili to be present at the weigh-ins as the backup fighter, insinuating a lack of confidence in Chito Vera. “I’ll take Chito out, I’ll take Merab out, and if Ilia’s still champ, I’ll take him out too.”

O’Malley is scheduled to defend his bantamweight title against Vera on March 9 at the Kaseya Center in Miami.


By Brian Anderson

Hi myself Brian, I am a second-year student at Symbiosis Centre of Management Studies, Noida, pursuing a BBA degree. I am a multi-faceted individual with a passion for various hobbies, including cricket, football, music, and sketching. Beyond my hobbies, I possess a keen interest in literature, particularly fictional books, and channels my creativity into content writing. I am constantly exploring the realms of both business administration and the world of imagination through my diverse pursuits.

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