UFC 298, which will be headlined by a featherweight title fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Ilia Topuria, will have a highly intriguing bantamweight clash between Henry Cejudo and Merab Dvalishvili in the co-main event. The winner of the bout will most probably be next in line for the bantamweight title.
The bantamweight title will be on the line at UFC 299 as Sean O’Malley defends his newly acquired title against former foe, Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera. O’Malley won the title from Aljamain Sterling, the best friend of Dvalishvili and former fore of Cejudo.
Cejudo and Merab lock horns ahead of UFC 298
Henry Cejudo and Merab Dvalishvili are the elite contenders in the UFC’s bantamweight division which also has Aljamain Sterling, Sean O’Malley, Petr Yan, Cory Sandhagen, and Umar Nurmagomedov. Dvalishvili was rumored to face Cejudo next after the former Olympic Gold medalist fell short of reclaiming the bantamweight title from Sterling at UFC 288.
However, Dvalishvili was keen on a title shot as the plan was for Aljamain Sterling, his close friend and training partner, to move up to featherweight after defending the title at UFC 292 against Sean O’Malley. However, O’Malley secured a second-round TKO and called out Marlon Vera, the only man to defeat O’Malley in professional MMA.
O’Malley, being the star he is, got his wish from Dana White and will be headlining UFC 299 in Miami. The news of Cejudo facing Dvalishvili was already out as both fighters alluded to it on numerous occasions. The UFC officially announced the fight as the co-main event of UFC 298. The fight announcement was followed by a hilarious social media spat between Cejudo and Dvalishvili.
Cejudo always misspells Dvalishvili’s name intentionally and this time Dvalishvili provided a hilarious response on social media platform X. He acted like a teacher and blasted Cejudo for not speaking proper English. Cejudo trolled back by reposting the post by Dvalishvili with the caption, ‘My name is a lot easier to pronounce…it’s “D-A-D-D-Y”’. Nevertheless, the fight between the two is poised to be one for the ages.
Sterling predicts winner of Cejudo vs Merab at UFC 298
Aljamain ‘Funkmaster’ Sterling, in his YouTube podcast, ‘Weekly Scraps’, previewed the UFC 298 bantamweight clash between his close friend, Merab Dvalishvili, and former foe, Henry Cejudo. Sterling has first-hand experience with the skills and attributes of both bantamweight.
“I think Henry Cejudo is going to be competitive for all of three to four minutes”, Sterling said of the chances of Cejudo in the fight. Sterling does not believe that Cejudo has what it takes to match the cardiovascular advantages of the Georgian bantamweight.
Dvalishvili has the second-longest win streak in the UFC’s bantamweight division and at present has the longest active win streak in the division.
“My early prediction for this is Merab Dvalishvili finishes Henry Cejudo in Round 3. I’m going to say TKO,” Sterling predicted the fight giving his teammate a 3rd round TKO victory over the former two-division champion. Dvalishvili has long been overdue for a title shot mainly due to Dvalishvili and Sterling refusing to fight each other.
Sterling has officially announced his move up to featherweight and there are no obstacles standing in front of Dvalishvili for a title shot. It needs to be noted that Dvalsivhili even planned to move down to 125lbs to avoid fighting Aljamain Sterling. Now, at UFC 298, Dvalishvili has the chance to cement his position as the next challenger for the bantamweight title.
Will Merab Dvalishvili defeat Henry Cejudo? Leave your prediction below.