Merab Dvalishvili Reacts To Sean O’Malley Calling Out Ilia Topuria

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Merab Dvalisvili was most certainly NOT a fan of Sean O’Malley’s post-fight interview.

O’Malley’s reign as the UFC Bantamweight Champion continues after a masterclass performance over Chito Vera in the UFC 299 headliner. Following three lopsided scorecards and a unanimous decision verdict, ‘Sugar’ got on the microphone and made an interesting call-out.

Much to the disapproval #1 contender Dvalishvili, the 28 year-old O’Malley went a different direction and asked for a fight with UFC Featherweight Champion Ilia Topuria instead.

Merab’s Thoughts On O’Malley’s Performance & Magnitude Of Potential Fight

As a fighter, the champ has earned the respect of Dvalishvili. However, as a personality?… Not so much, says ‘The Machine’.

“Sean was looking good, he did what he was supposed to do,” Dvalishvili told MMA Junkie. “We all know that he was going to win this fight, he did [in a] very spectacular way. He dominated Chito Vera and I have so much respect for Sean as a fighter. He’s a good fighter and I take as big challenge to him.

“I don’t look [as] it’s easy for me or something, but as a person he a little bit stupid because he should mention my name and he should call me out and make even bigger fight. This is big fight, me and him. We are fighting, there is no other fights for him or for me, you know, that’s, this fight has to happen. He’s just defend his belt only once and now I’m the next. But, I don’t know. Somehow he’s not mentioning my name and he’s not calling me out and don’t make this fight, big fight, like even bigger fight.”

“This Fight’s Not Gonna Happen!” Dvalishvili On O’Malley vs. Topuria

Having the longest active winning streak at bantamweight (10) and his last three victories coming over former champs, Dvalishvili was simply baffled by the fact O’Malley leapfrogged him in the title conversation.

“I was very surprised. Like, what’s this guy doing?” Dvalishvili said of O’Malley’s call-out of Topuria. “Just either be quiet or just don’t call somebody who’s not gonna fight you. This fight’s not gonna happen. Ilia is great champion, but he just win his belt and now UFC not gonna let this fight happen because it’s first title defense.

“Sean, it’s not like he clean division or something. I was supposed to fight him for this fight, but he called number six guy. Okay, I understand, we all understand. Some people wants to see this and you actually support this fight. Okay, we understand. But, now let’s move on and let’s fight me… I was mad actually. Like, he don’t call me out or he called Ilia. We all see Ilia and UFC don’t give a s*** about this.”

Merab Dvalishvili says he has been calling for a fight with Sean O’Malley since 2018. With a lack of options at 135lbs, we shall see if this is the year that brings a battle between the bantering bantamweights or quite possibly another champ vs. champ fight.

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Christopher De Santiago is a 22 year-old journalist out of Texas with years of experience covering MMA. Follow him on X: @chris_dsantiago

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