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Merab
Dvalishvili
showcased a versatile skillset against Cody
Stamann
at UFC on ESPN 23, and that should be concerning for
the rest of the division.

The Serra-Longo Fight Team product’s grappling was on display to
the tune of five takedowns, but he also kept his opponent off
balance with a standup attack that included jabs, straight rights
and uppercuts. All told, the Georgian bantamweight outlanded
Stamann by a 71-to-48 count in significant strikes – including 49
to the head, 16 to the body and six to the legs.

During his rise to prominence in the UFC, Dvalishvili gained
recognition for his wrestling acumen, landing double-digit
takedowns on three occasions and overwhelming foes with his
pressure and control. However, he wants to point out the he is a
well-rounded competitor.

“I train with good guys and my style’s not only wrestling or
striking. I can mix it up,” he said. “This is mixed martial arts.
They never know what’s coming. That’s why my style is difficult for
those guys. That’s why I make fights easy, and they think I’m weird
and don’t know how to strike or wrestle. I keep winning.”

After beginning his promotional tenure with losses to Frankie
Saenz
and Ricky
Simon
, Dvalishvili has reeled off six consecutive triumphs in
UFC competition – including five in the bantamweight division. “The
Machine” has already established himself as an opponent no one
wants to face, but he is eyeing some of the more accomplished names
at 135 pounds. Namely, he wants to take on some of the men who have
held UFC titles at some point in their careers.

“Bantamweight top 15 is really stacked. There are really good guys.
I was ranked 12th (in the UFC rankigns), but I should be top 10,”
he said. “To be honest, we have four or five former champions and
they’re not fighting for the title. They should fight me. We have
Dominick
Cruz
, T.J.
Dillashaw
, Cody
Garbrandt
and Jose Aldo. I
should fight the former champions.

“I have to fight a big name because I have six straight wins. I
think this is a big deal. I don’t mind fighting anybody. I just
enjoy fighting in the UFC. This makes me happy, but I think I
deserve big fights.”


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