“He is very popular on TikTok,” Merab Dvalishvili lists HILARIOUS reason for fighting Sean O’Malley

Despite others critiquing Sean O'Malley's draw-power and fanbase, top bantamweight, Merab Dvalishvili longs for a fight with the superstar.


“He is very popular on TikTok,” Merab Dvalishvili lists HILARIOUS reason for fighting Sean O’Malley

Merab Dvalishvili and Sean O'Mallley (Source: Instagram)

Sean O’Malley had a cage-side look at a possible future opponent, at UFC 298. Consequently, the opponent has his eyes set on him as well. Merab Dvalishvili bagged the biggest win of his career run, thrusting him towards title contention. He edged out former 2-division champ, Henry Cejudo, with a unanimous decision at Anaheim, Calif. At the post-fight presser, CEO Dana White nudged that Dvalishvili is next in line for the gold.

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Suga‘ bagged his title gold with a fateful TKO of Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292. Sterling had issued vital ultimatums to O’Malley for a rematch. But to his and then-#2 Dvalishvili’s dismay, he chose now #5 135lber Marlon Vera for his maiden defense at UFC 299. A step closer to a title shot, here’s what the Georgian said to The MMA Hour‘s Ariel Helwani, as the real reason for fighting the champ –

He is the champion now, He is very popular in TikTok. I want to fight with him.

Merab Dvalishvili via The MMA Hour

This is totally in line with the funnyman disposition of the bantamweight. Plus, despite shades of his neo-fandom being comprised of the TikTok market, O’Malley is undoubtedly a superstar in his rights. With Sterling debuting as a 145lber soon, ‘The Machine’ has the playing field, in which he revels. Sterling vacates his claim at featherweight at UFC 300; concurrently, Dvalishvili is the #1 bantamweight now.

So, while O’Malley prefers scarier Ilia Topuria over Merab Dvalishvili, a hash-off is bound to happen soon. Sean O’Malley himself isn’t against the idea as well. On Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour, he advocated a face-off with Topuria. But he’s also open to a matchup with the beatable Dvalishvili as well; he just doesn’t prefer it as his top choice.

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Merab Dvalishvili vs. Sean O’Malley: The pros and cons

UFC bantamweight champion, Sean O’Malley faces Marlon “Chito” Vera at UFC 299, for a rematch. ‘Suga‘ faced his lonesome career skid from him at UFC 252. Since then, O’Malley has caught substantial flak from peers in the division, like Aljamain Sterling and Merab Dvalishvili for opting for a lower-ranked Vera.

Sean O'Malley vs. Merab Dvalishvili: Yay or Nay?
Sean O’Malley vs. Merab Dvalishvili: Yay or Nay? (Source: Twitter/UFC.go.com))

Now, with his dominant performance at UFC 298, Dvalishvili is at the top of the food chain. Addressing reporters at the UFC 298 post-fight presser, he offered to be the backup for UFC 299’s title defense. Now, the question arises, is he the optimal choice for ‘Suga‘ right now?

During the Feb.19th episode of The MMA Hour, O’Malley deliberated on the pushbacks and claims of ducking Merab he has faced from the fight bubble. Gunning to headline at the $2.3 Billion Marvel (Sphere, Las Vegas) against Ilia Topuria, he has a champion vs. champion affair in mind.

The sentiment is tactically solid. Even Alexander Volkanovski lauds him for handpicking Ilia Topuria for his double-champ aspirations. A move not unlike Topuria himself rooting for rival Volkanovski in his 10-day notice title fight against Islam Makhachev, gunning for 2-division aspirations.

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So while Dvalishvili is the #1 bantamweight, he has nothing to gain but all to lose against the Georgian. However, with a champ-vs-champ square off, he has a clear line to the featherweight gold. Moreover, the Spanish featherweight has been dubbing down the superstar’s talents for a long time.

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