Dvalishvili (16-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) is set to face off against former two-division champion Cejudo (16-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) at UFC 298 on Feb. 17, which will take place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The main card will be broadcast on pay-per-view, following preliminaries on ESPN and ESPN+.
Cejudo announced his retirement from MMA in May 2020, shortly after successfully defending the bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz. However, he made a comeback from his three-year hiatus to challenge then-champion Aljamain Sterling at UFC 288 in May, only to suffer a split decision loss.
On the other hand, Dvalishvili is riding high on a nine-fight winning streak. His latest victory includes a dominant performance against former champion Petr Yan in March.
Prior to the highly anticipated bout, current champ O’Malley shared his insights on this significant matchup.
“Henry vs. Merab is kind of interesting,” O’Malley expressed on the “MIGHTYcast” alongside Demetrious Johnson. “I think it’s going to be a competitive fight. If I had to guess, I think Merab gets it done. I think he’s just more invested. I think Henry’s comeback is driven by financial reasons. He might not have enough money, and fighting is the only thing he knows. So, I believe Merab might emerge victorious in this one.”
The outcome of the Dvalishvili versus Cejudo bout could potentially determine the next top contender for bantamweight champion O’Malley (17-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC). O’Malley is gearing up for his first title defense in a rematch against Marlon Vera in the UFC 299 headliner, scheduled for March 9 at the Kaseya Center in Miami.