Dvalishvili used a relentless pace and opportunistic grappling to defeat José Aldo at UFC 278 via a unanimous decision. He’s now won eight fights in a row and could be on the verge of a potential bantamweight title shot, despite shutting down a fight with his teammate Aljamain Sterling.
Despite the victory, some fans and pundits felt Dvalishvili could’ve done more to separate himself from the crowded bantamweight title picture. This includes upcoming fights such as Petr Yan vs. Sean O’Malley along with Marlon Vera’s recent finish over Dominick Cruz.
While White feels Dvalishvili did what he needed to earn the win, he thinks the surging Georgian didn’t make a big enough impression to warrant a big jump in the division.
Dana White Gives His Thoughts On Merab Dvalishvili’s Win Over José Aldo
During his UFC 278 post-fight press conference, White gave his thoughts on what Dvalishvili gained with his victory over Aldo.
“I just think that Merab tonight — I didn’t see a lot of offense out of José Aldo. I think that when you’re on a card like this, the place is packed like this, and you want to make a statement in that division, you go for it,” White said of Dvalishvili’s performance. “And listen, I get it. He’s fighting José Aldo and whatever it might be. I don’t know. I don’t think Merab did himself a lot of favors tonight.”
Dvalishvili has teased a potential move to flyweight following his victory over Aldo. A move to 125lbs would not only ensure him a potentially easier path to a title shot but a chance to officially shut down speculation surrounding him and Sterling fighting.
Dvalishvili has been on a roll since returning to the UFC following his run in the 2019 Combat Sambo World Championships. He picked up recent wins over the likes of former UFC title challengers Marlon Moraes and John Dodson prior to his win over Aldo.
Dvalishvili’s positioning in the bantamweight title picture remains uncertain as the talented Georgian ponders his next move. If White’s comments are an indication, bantamweights will need to show out going forward in order to assert themselves as the next potential title challenger.
What do you think should be next for Merab Dvalishvili?