Friday, June 24, 2022

Merab Dvalishvili Ponders Flyweight Switch After Win Over José Aldo

Merab Dvalishvili believes that a switch from bantamweight contention to flyweight contention could be possible if he emerges victorious over José Aldo in his next appearance.

After a long wait, Dvalishvili finally has his return to the Octagon set. The #6-ranked contender impressed last time out, extending his win streak to seven with a memorable TKO victory over the now-retired Marlon Moraes at UFC 266 last September.

But after some minor injuries and a dedicated role in teammate Aljamain Sterling‘s UFC 273 camp, the Georgian’s rise has been somewhat stalled due to a lengthy layoff. He’ll look to bring his name back to the surface when he squares off with MMA legend Aldo at UFC 278 in August.

Following the announcement of his return, Dvalishvili spoke with MMA News’ own James Lynch on a variety of topics, including Sterling’s reign and public pay demands, the potential bantamweight arrival of Deiveson Figueiredo, and his new six-fight UFC contract.

One notable admission Dvalishvili made was a potential future at flyweight. “The Machine” finds himself in a unique position at 135 pounds owing to the success of friend and teammate Sterling.

While a victory over Aldo, whom many believe has already earned another shot at gold, would likely be enough to make the Georgian deserving of a title opportunity, he’s made it very clear that he won’t be sharing the Octagon with Sterling.

And although “Funk Master” has revealed plans to defend the belt a few times before moving up to featherweight to allow for Dvalishvili’s own success in the division, the Tbilisi native has offered to go the other way.

Dvalishvili told MMA News that should he add the legendary name of Aldo to his résumé on August 20, a jump into the 125-pound shark tank could await him.

“(Sterling) will be champion as long as he wants. I’m just gonna win this fight, chill, and maybe go (down to) 125,” said Dvalishvili. “We’ll see. I have to win this fight first… I think it’s possible (to make flyweight). I’d have to do tests first, maybe UFC PI can help me, and maybe I will do tests. If I make it, why not?”

With the likes of Figueiredo, Brandon Moreno, Kai Kara-France, Alexandre Pantoja, and Askar Askarov occupying the top positions of what is certainly a developing and exciting weight class, the addition of Dvalishvili would only add to the growth of the flyweight division.

And should the Georgian stall Aldo’s late surge and make the drop, perhaps we’ll be seeing teammates Sterling and Dvalishvili wielding UFC gold together.

Catch our full interview with UFC bantamweight contender Merab Dvalishvili below:

How do you think Merab Dvalishvili would fare at flyweight?

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