Dana White confirms Merab Dvalishvili will fight for the bantamweight title following UFC 298 win

Merab Dvalishvili

Merab Dvalishvili will face the winner of next month’s bantamweight title tilt between reigning champion ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley and No. 6 ranked contender Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera.

‘The Machine’ earned his 10th straight victory at UFC 298 on Saturday night, scoring a decisive unanimous decision victory over former two-division champion Henry Cejudo. Following the evening’s festivities, UFC CEO Dana White confirmed that Dvalishvili will be next in line for a shot at the 135-pound crown.

“He looked good tonight, man,” White said at the post-fight press event. “He did what he had (to do). In my opinion, you can’t take three years off in a combat sport. It’s never done well for anybody. Cejudo looked great in the first round. I thought he started to gas out in the second round. Merab just got stronger as the fight went on.”

Dana White reveals why cejudo didn’t get the mic following his loss to dvalishvili

As for Cejudo, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist vowed to retire should he come up short against Dvalishvili inside Anaheim’s Honda Center. By all accounts, ‘Triple C’ will stand by his words, but he was not given the opportunity to address the crowd following his loss.

Henry Cejudo already retired,” White replied when asked why Cejudo did not get a post-fight interview. “He did the whole drop the gloves thing. Tonight was Merab’s night. Merab went in there and fought the No. 3 guy in the world — a former world champion — and he won easily. Tonight was Merab’s night. If he wants to retire again, he could do that here or somewhere else. You don’t give the mic to Cejudo — tonight was Merab’s night.”

If this truly is the end for Henry Cejudo (again), ‘Triple C’ will close out his career by going 10-4 under the UFC banner and 16-4 overall. As a former bantamweight, flyweight, and Olympic champion, Cejudo will be remembered as one of the greatest combat sports athletes of all time.

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