Sean O’Malley on Merab Dvalishvili vs. Henry Cejudo: ‘Decent little fight from a couple little dudes’

Sean O’Malley won’t put a lot of thought into a future matchup against Merab Dvalishvili just yet – he’s still got business to handle with Chito Vera at UFC 299.

That said, the reigning UFC bantamweight champion still kept a close eye on Dvalishvili’s unanimous decision victory over Henry Cejudo at UFC 298, which marked the Georgian fighter’s 10th consecutive win. Dvalishvili wasted no time calling for a future fight with O’Malley, who sat cageside just a few feet away.

“It’s interesting watching fights live compared to on the TV,” O’Malley said addressing Dvalishvili vs. Cejudo on the UFC 298 post-fight show. “I’d like to watch it back on the TV to really give full input. It was decent.

“I heard rumors that Henry had some injuries going into the fight. He looked a little winded, but Merab looked good. Decent little fight from a couple little dudes.”

Following a back-and-forth opening round, Dvalishvili took over in the final 10 minutes, landin multiple takedowns on the 2008 Olympic gold medalist in wrestling and pushing a relentless pace that tested Cejudo’s conditioning. When it was over, there was no doubt Dvalishvili did enough for the win, and all three judges scored the fight in his favor.

As much as UFC CEO Dana White hates to make fights after an event, he confirmed that Dvalishvili has cemented himself as the No. 1 contender at bantamweight.

That matters a lot to Dvalishvili, but not so much for O’Malley, who has a different challenge still standing in his way on March 9 in Miami.

“Three weeks, UFC 299, everything’s going so good,” he said. “I’ve got to get through Chito before I can start saying I might fight him, I might fight him, I might fight this guy.”

The upcoming pay-per-view card serves as O’Malley’s second headliner after he took out Aljamain Sterling to become bantamweight champion at UFC 292 this past August.

This time around, O’Malley serves as the main event in Miami as the UFC returns to the popular Florida destination for the first time since UFC 287 in April 2023. On that night, Israel Adesanya capped off the card with a stunning finish against Alex Pereira to avenge several past defeats to the Brazilian – including the night he lost the UFC middleweight title.

O’Malley couldn’t help but notice similarities with Adesanya vs. Pereira 2, considering he’s about to headline a card in Miami against the only person to hold a win over him in his career.

“I’m pretty sure Israel Adesanya knocked out Alex Pereira in the rematch [in Miami]. Am I right?” O’Malley said. “Interesting.”

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