Merab Dvalishvili reacts to “very disappointing” news that Marlon Vera will fight Sean O’Malley next: “Vera doesn’t deserve this fight”

By Susan Cox - November 10, 2023

Merab Dvalishvili is reacting to the ‘very disappointing’ news that Marlon Vera will fight Sean O’Malley next.

Merab Dvalishvili, Marlon Vera, Sean O'Malley, UFC 299, UFC

It was announced earlier this week that Sean O’Malley (17-1 MMA) would meet Marlon Vera (23-8 MMA) for his first bantamweight title defense at UFC 299 which takes place on March 9th of next year in Las Vegas.

White not unexpected, Merab Dvalishvili spoke with ‘MMA Junkie‘ at a Sign Here Signatures event just yesterday and shared his disappointment with the announcement:

“I knew before (that) they were making this fight. I feel very disappointed. ‘Chito’ Vera doesn’t deserve this fight. He’s 1-1. Cory Sandhagen beat him. Jose Aldo beat him. I beat Jose Aldo. I’m No. 1 contender for the title or they should give rematch to Aljamain Sterling. This is what it is. I guess it’s numbers now – number-wise and money-wise, (the) fight.”

Continuing ‘The Machine’ believes it’s all about the money:

“I think I’m a bad stylistic matchup for him. In my opinion, I can beat him because styles make fights. I think that’s what they’re thinking too. … I think they want to keep him longest, because it’s not a secret. O’Malley makes money. O’Malley is a big number. If I beat O’Malley, who is going to sell pay-per-views. I think it’s how it goes. I understand. That’s why UFC is great. They’re smart. For competition and what’s right, I think I should fight him. If I’m big numbers or good money, I don’t know what to say.”

Merab Dvalishvili went on to say that the UFC plans include him fighting Henry Cejudo next:

“I have a big challenge in front of me in Henry Cejudo. I have to handle that. Now, I’m focused on Henry Cejudo. He’s a great fighter and a big challenge for me. All my focus is on him. O’Malley and ‘Chito’ Vera, I can fight both of them the same night, no problem.”

Although not officially announced, according to the 32-year-old it will be Dvalishvili (16-4 MMA) vs. Cejudo (16-3 MMA) in the near future:

“I’d like to fight on the same card as ‘Chito’ Vera and O’Malley. That’ll be good. That makes sense. We’re all the same weight class and it’s going to be a fun one. The winner of us will fight (for the) title. Me or Henry Cejudo will go fight (for the) title. That fight makes sense. If something happens and one of them pulls out, I can jump in. That’s my opinion.”

Concluding, Dvalishvili spoke about Cejudo saying:

“Henry Cejudo is a great fighter. He’s a great champion and he’s really tough, mentally tough. He has great wrestling. We all know he’s an Olympic champion. Even his striking, he has karate striking. He’s just tough. Stylistically, it’s going to be a hard fight for me. Stylistically, the ‘Chito’ Vera fight, for me, is easy. Stylistically, O’Malley fight for me is easy. Henry Cejudo is tough but I’m going to do everything to beat him and win against him. That’s why I’m just focused on this.”

Do you agree with Merab Dvalishvili that ‘Chito’ isn’t deserving of a title shot? Are you looking forward to the possibility of a Dvalishvili vs. Cejudo battle in the cage?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!


Marlon Vera Merab Dvalishvili Sean O'Malley UFC UFC 298 UFC 299