Saturday, May 21, 2022

Merab Dvalishvili To Move To Flyweight If Sterling Remains BW Champ

UFC bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili has confirmed that he’s considering a move down to the flyweight division if he defeats Marlon Moraes.

Dvalishvili, who has only ever fought at bantamweight and featherweight, has built a six-fight winning streak in the UFC since losing his first two bouts in the promotion. Three wins in 2020 brought the Georgian into the bantamweight conversation, before a victory over Cody Stamann at UFC Vegas 25 earned him a place in the 135-pound top 10.

The 30-year-old now has a huge opportunity against former title challenger Marlon Moraes at UFC 266. Despite consecutive knockout losses to Cory Sandhagen and Rob Font, the Brazilian has been a top contender ever since his 2017 debut and remains a dangerous opponent.

But while speaking with Georgian MMA journalist Giorgi Kokiashvili, “The Machine” said that with a stacked group of contenders at bantamweight and his teammate as champ, he’s seriously considering a move down to 125 pounds.

“I asked Merab Dvalishvili about ‘what’s next if he defeats Marlon’ and this is what he answered. Also, if “The Machine” reaches the title shot and there will be Aljo as a Champ, merab will cut weight and go down at Flyweight.” Wrote Kokiashvili on his Twitter profile.

The reporter also included a quote from the rising bantamweight star in the post.

“There are too many former champs and I don’t think they let me fight for the belt if I defeat Moraes. I’m thinking about to go down at flyweight.”

If Dvalishvili was to switch weight class, he’d be joining an already competitive group of contenders in the flyweight division. Alongside the first Mexican-born champion in UFC history Brandon Moreno, the likes of Deiveson Figueiredo, Askar Askarov, Alex Perez and Kai Kara-France have helped raise the division’s stock.

The Georgian isn’t the only bantamweight rumored to be considering a switch to 125 pounds. Former champion Cody Garbrandt was set to face “Deus Da Guerra” for the belt last year before he was forced to withdraw. After a defeat to Rob Font in May, many have suggested he’ll also ponder a change. A recent tweet from Ali Abdelaziz, which “No Love” shared himself, has fuelled the speculation.

With two top bantamweight contenders close to joining the flyweight elite, the future of the UFC’s lightest male division looks as bright as ever.

Do you think Merab Dvalishvili could become a flyweight champion if he makes the switch?

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