“I don’t like Russian Politics!” Georgian Merab Dvalishvili reveals he had ‘EXTRA STRESS’ before fight with Russian Petr Yan

Merab Dvalishvili's revelations about the political undertones of his bout with Petr Yan, shedding light on the deeper motivations behind his performance in the fight.


“I don’t like Russian Politics!” Georgian Merab Dvalishvili reveals he had ‘EXTRA STRESS’ before fight with Russian Petr Yan

Merab Dvalishvili defeated Petr Yan in a fight that transcended the sport (Image via: IMAGO)

Merab Dvalishvili recently defeated Henry Cejudo at UFC 298 and even got the appreciation of Mark Zuckerberg. After a brief instance in the first round when Cejudo rocked Dvalishvili, the Georgian was in control of the fight. Before UFC 298, Dvalishvili dominantly defeated Petr Yan, the former champion.

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In the aftermath of UFC 298, Dvalishvili appeared on the JAXXON podcast. On the podcast, Dvalishvili opened up about a lot of things, and his fight with Yan was one of them. For Dvalishvili, the fight against Yan had geopolitical connotations. This is what Dvalishvili said about the fight.

I was fighting against (Pertr) Yan, and that was a little bit political fight for me because he's from Russia, I from Georgia. And I don't like Russian politics because we are neighbors, and they always trying to occupy our territories. And um, I was fighting not only for fight, it was more than fight... it was extra stress.
Merab Dvalishvili via JAXXON podcast

Dvalishvili stated that he did not sleep for two days after his victory over Petr Yan. He also revealed that it would’ve remained very difficult to overcome mentally if he had lost. However, it was not the case for him when he fought Jose Aldo. Dvalishvili revealed that nothing would’ve mattered if he had lost to Aldo at UFC 278.

After the victory at UFC 298, Dana White confirmed that Dvalishvili would get the title shot next at bantamweight. Sean O’Malley is the champion of the division and he will look to defend the title at UFC 299 against Marlon Vera. However, O’Malley revealed that he planned to call out featherweight champion Ilia Topuria if he was victorious against Vera.

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Merab Dvalishvili on a three-fight win streak over former UFC champions

Merab Dvalishvili is close friends with former UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling. Dvalishvili tied Sterling’s longest win streak in the division with his victory at UFC 298. Dvalishvili has a 9-fight winning streak in the bantamweight division and ten overall. Amazingly, his last three victories were against former UFC champions.

Merab Dvalishvili nationality and ethnicity
Merab Dvalishvili nationality and ethnicity (via Wallpapers.com)

The former UFC champion’s win streak started for Dvalishvili at UFC 279. At UFC 279, Dvalshvili won via unanimous decision against arguable UFC featherweight GOAT Jose Aldo. After the loss, Aldo retired from MMA but has since competed in boxing. Dvalishvili then fought former bantamweight champion Petr Yan in a Fight Night headliner in March 2023. He thoroughly dominated Yan to earn a unanimous decision victory. Before his fight with Dvalishvili, Yan had only lost via DQ or split decision in the UFC.

The latest champion on Dvalishvili’s resume was Henry Cejudo, the former two-division UFC champion. Like Aldo, Cejudo also retired after losing to the Georgian fighter. He had earlier stated that he would retire if the result were against him at UFC 298.

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