Merab Dvalishvili decided a rainy day at the UFC Performance Institute was a good time to film some content.
Then his rival Sean O’Malley started filming.
The new bantamweight champ and top contender may not be meeting any time soon, but they are building the foundation of a future fight. O’Malley mocked Dvalishvili’s impromptu photoshoot as the Georgian fighter did some shadowboxing.
You can see the video below.
“What the f*** is this guy doing, bro?” chuckled O’Malley, who was in Las Vegas to meet with UFC President Dana White on his future. “This guy said, ‘Hey hold my phone, I’m going to get a little video, pretend I’m working out.”
Dvalishvili is technically on the mend from a hand injury he suffered prior to a career-high win over ex-champ Petr Yan. That hasn’t kept him from campaigning to be O’Malley’s next opponent as he seeks revenge for teammate and now ex-champ Aljamain Sterling, who ceded the belt with a knockout loss at UFC 292. Sterling has called for Dvalishvili to get the next title shot despite White’s ire at the Georgian fighter’s refusal to face his longtime teammate.
O’Malley didn’t call to face Dvalishvili and instead targeted previous opponent and rival Chito Vera, who defeated Pedro Munhoz earlier on this past month’s pay-per-view fight card.
The UFC has yet to book O’Malley’s first title defense, which he said could take place in December if health permits; a rib and foot injury he suffered prior to his title win need time to heal.
Vera defeated O’Malley via TKO when they first met in August 2020. But the Ecuadorian fighter is an underdog to repeat history should they meet down the road.