Merab Dvalishvili: “I want to fight O’Malley, but the UFC protects him”

Merab Dvalishvili: “I want to fight O'Malley, but the UFC protects him”

The first number of the UFC bantamweight division, Merab Dvalishvili, is not happy that the organization’s management does not want to bring him into the octagon with American Sean O’Malley, who occupies the second position in the ranking.

“Yes, I want to fight Sean O’Malley, but the UFC said that he will be the next to fight for the title,” the Georgian fighter said in an interview with InsideFighting. “His title shot is safe because they protect him. I respect him, he’s a good fighter, but I’d like to test him.”

Given Dvalishvili’s outright refusal to fight reigning division champion Aljamain Sterling, the UFC’s decision to deny him a fight with O’Malley seems logical as the organization doesn’t want to risk a challenger.

O’Malley’s next opponent will be determined in a title fight between Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo, who will head the UFC 288 tournament in Newark on May 6, and Dvalishvili, according to rumors, may share the octagon with Russian Umar Nurmagomedov this summer, who occupies the eleventh line in the bantamweight division ranking.