Dvalishvili used his wrestling to shut down José Aldo’s advances on the feet and ground in their UFC 278 showcase. While it wasn’t a full-throttle battle that most expected, Dvalishvili used his elite grappling to stifle Aldo and coast to victory with relative ease.
After three rounds, Dvalishvili earned a unanimous decision victory to move one step closer to a potential bantamweight title shot. This despite White hinting that he “didn’t do himself any favors” when it comes to his standing in the division following his performance.
Dvalishvili understands that fans want to see entertaining fights, although he did what he needed to do to continue his impressive winning streak.
Merab Dvalishvili Explains Rationale Behind Wrestling-Heavy Approach
During his UFC 278 post-fight press conference, Dvalishvili responded to the crowd booing him in his win over Aldo.
“It was hard to time it to take him down. He was defending my takedowns good, and I wanted to be ready for his striking. I was winning the fight, and it’s his job to move and do something,” Dvalishvili opined.
Dvalishvili has now won eight in a row but arguably failed to distinguish himself in the bantamweight title picture. The winner of Sean O’Malley vs. Petr Yan could face either Aljamain Sterling or TJ Dillashaw for the next bantamweight title shot, with other top contenders like Dvalishvili and Marlon Vera waiting in the wings.
Dvalishvili has proven himself to be a force to be reckoned with at 135lbs and will look to continue his climb in the division. As his skills continue to develop, so will likely his ability to entertain casual UFC fans more consistently.
What are your thoughts on Merab Dvalishvili’s comments?