UFC star Sean O’Malley confirms he will fight Merab Dvalishvili next: ‘I’m not ducking that little dude’

Sean O'Malley confirms he will fight Merab Dvalishvili next I'm not ducking that little dude

Amid speculation linking him to a featherweight title siege off the back of his one-sided victory over Marlon Vera earlier this month to defend his bantamweight crown at UFC 299, Sean O’Malley insists he will face-off with the surging, Merab Dvalishvili in his next outing at 135 pounds.

O’Malley, the current undisputed bantamweight champion, lodged his first successful defense of that title earlier this month in a heated rematch against Vera, avenging his sole professional loss in a lopsided judging win atop the UFC 299 card in their Florida re-run.

Sean O'Malley told to forget title fight with Ilia Topuria by Dana White after UFC 299 that's crazy talk
Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger – Zuffa LLC

And immediately noting his interest in potentially pursuing a title a division higher at 145 pounds, O’Malley urged the promotion to field him against newly-crowned gold holder, Ilia Topuria in a trip to Spain – a call which was immediately shut down by UFC brass, Dana White to boot.

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Weighing up the prospect of taking on the surging Georgian grappling ace, Dvalishvili in what many have penned as the toughest stylistic matchup for O’Malley as defending champion, the Contender Series product has welcomed a bout against the number one contender.

Sean O’Malley calls for Merab Dvalishvili next

With his head coach, Tim Welch admitting that Dvalishvili is a massive problem for them and the championship reign, that has not deterred O’Malley was eyeing a fight with the Tbilisi contender next.

Sean O'Malley heckled by crowd during UFC 299 press conference labels Chito Vera a piñata in heated face off
Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger – Zuffa LLC

“Merab’s (Dvalishvili) next, Merab is f*cking next,” Sean O’Malley said on his podcast. “Your wish is granted. “A lot of people said I’m ducking him. I just really am not ducking that little dude. I like the fight for me. There’s multiple ways to win, I’m excited about the fight now, finally.”

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“I was just never ducking him, I was just never excited to fight him, I don’t know,” Sean O’Malley explained. “Now, is just the right time. Just like the ‘Chito’ (Marlon Vera) rematch, the time will come – to where it’s the right time to fight certain people. Merab’s next. And, careful what you wish for, buddy.” 

Merab Dvalishvili set to serve as backup to UFC 299 title fight main event already cutting weight
Mandatory Credit: Media News Group – Los Angles Daily News

Most recently turning in his own dominant victory, Dvalishvili landed a one-sided decision victory against former two-division champion and Olympic gold medal winner, Henry Cejudo on the main card of UFC 298 last month in Anaheim. 

Who wins in a title fight this year: Sean O’Malley or Merab Dvalishvili?