Merab Dvalishvili To Serve As UFC 299 Headliner Backup

This Saturday at UFC 299, Sean O’Malley is set to defend his bantamweight title versus Marlon Vera, and it has now been announced that Merab Dvalishvili will serve as the backup fighter for the headlining bout.

“The Machine” most recently defending former two-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo in a convincing unanimous decision at UFC 298. Prior to that, in 2023, he took down a different former champion in Petr Yan.

Having not lost in a UFC appearance since 2018, it is no surprise that Dvalishvili now has his sights set on the current champion. And, with him receiving the opportunity to weigh in this Saturday as a backup, it makes it clear that his chance is coming soon.

Shortly after the news broke, both O’Malley and Vera were asked about their thoughts on Dvalishvili as their backup. Both agreed that they would fight the number one ranked 135-pound competitor if anything should happen, and O’Malley even praised Dvalishvili for his most recent performance against Henry Cejudo.

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