UFC books Merab Dvalishvili – Marlon Moraes

The UFC has booked a fun matchup in the bantamweight decision. Merab Dvalishvili‘s (13-4) head coach Ray Longo appeared on the Anik and Florian Podcast and revealed that Dvalishvili would be fighting Marlon Moraes (23-8, 1 NC) next.

The matchup will take place at UFC 266 pm September 4th. The fight was later confirmed by MMA Fighting with promotional officials. This is a big fight for Dvalishvili as he’s getting his first crack at the UFC top ten.

Dvalishvili is on an impressive six-fight winning streak. When Dvalishvili first joined the UFC, it wasn’t smooth sailing for him. Dvalishvili was given a contract after Dana White watched him during the filming of his show, Looking for a Fight.

He made his debut with the promotion back in December of 2017 and immediately lost his first two fights. However, he’s been perfect since. His last UFC appearance was back in May when he defeated Cody Stamann by Unanimous Decision.

UFC Trouble for Magic Marlon

Back in February of 2019, the top contender in the UFC’s bantamweight division was Marlon Moraes. After losing his debut with the promotion, Moraes won four consecutive fights to put him in prime position for a title shot.

His wins included Aljamain Sterling, Jimmie Rivera and Raphael Assuncao. Moraes fought Henry Cejudo for the vacant bantamweight title at UFC 238. Magic Marlon had a dominant first round, but he couldn’t put Cejudo away.

Slowly, Cejudo starting breaking Moraes. Then, in the third round, Cejudo finished him off. Since that loss, Marlon Moraes has not been the same fighter. He won a split decision over Jose Aldo, but most believe he lost that fight.

Then, he was stopped in both of his UFC appearances in 2020. In the eyes of the public, Moraes has lost four consecutive fights dating back to the Cejudo loss. This fight against Dvalishvili is massively important. If he gets dominated in this one, his days with the promotion could be numbered.

After loss at UFC Vegas 25, what’s next for Cody Stamann?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 25, Cody Stamann (19-4-1) was tasked with trying to stop Merab Dvalishvili (13-4). Dvalishvili had won five fights in a row leading into Saturday and The Spartan was trying to stop that winning streak.

These two men were scheduled to fight a couple of times over the last year. However, the fight always fell through. But, at UFC Vegas 25, we finally got to see these two talented bantamweights go to war.

Stamann was looking to bounce back after a loss in his last outing. On the UFC‘s first trip to Fight Island, Stamann took on Jimmie Rivera. It was a huge fight for Stamann, but he came up just a bit short.

Stamann started out his UFC career going 3-0. However, since then he was 2-2-1 heading into Saturday night. Well, unfortunately for Stamann, he wasn’t able to turn away the storm that is Merab Dvalishvili.

While Stamann was the one stepping forward throughout the fight, there was just nonstop action from Dvalishvili on Saturday night. Stamann had moments including getting the better of the grappling a few times, but ultimately, Dvalishvili controlled the fight. Ultimately, Stamann dropped a unanimous decision which brings him to just 2-3-1 in his last six fights.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 25?

Despite the loss, Cody Stamann remains in the UFC’s top fifteen at bantamweight. With the updated rankings coming out today, Stamann clocks in at the thirteenth position which is where he was before Saturday night.

With Stamann still inside the top fifteen, what should the UFC do with him next? There is one fight that I love for Stamann and the bantamweight division. That is a matchup with Casey Kenney (16-3-1).

Kenney is coming off of a loss to Dominick Cruz back at UFC 259. That loss snapped a three-fight win streak. Since making his octagon debut back in 2019, the only two men to have defeated Kenney inside the octagon are Cruz and Dvalishvili.

Kenney and Stamann find themselves in a very similar position. I think the best move would be the pair them up against each other to see who the better prospect is. Given the way their last fights went, I think the UFC could make this fight sooner than later.

After another win at UFC Vegas 25, what’s next for Merab Dvalishvili?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 25, a good bantamweight contest kicked off the main card. Merab Dvalishvili (13-4) took on Cody Stamann (19-4-1). These two were paired up twice before, but the fight fell through both times.

Finally, at UFC Vegas 25 we saw the two of them go head-to-head. Stamann was looking to bounce back after just his second loss in the octagon. Dvalishvili on the other hand was looking to pick up his sixth straight win in the UFC.

When Dvalishvili made his octagon debut a few years ago, it didn’t start well. Dvalishvili lost his first two fights inside the octagon. However, since that second loss, Dvalishvili has completely turned things around.

Dvalishvili pushes a pace that very few can match and he’s showing that he can be a handful in the UFC‘s bantamweight division. I was so intrigued by the grappling of these two considering how good of wrestlers they both are.

Throughout the fight, we saw the wrestling of each man cancel the other out at times. However, Dvalishvili was still able to get Stamann down several times. He had issues keeping him on the ground, but he was relentless with his attacks.

The activity, the pressure, and the pace that Dvalishvili is a problem for all UFC bantamweights. In the end, Dvalishvili walked away with the unanimous decision victory and now he’s won six straight.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 25?

The UFC rankings just updated and Dvalishvili moved up to the eleventh spot in the rankings. Having won six in a row, it’s a tad surprising he didn’t crack the top ten, but he’s right there.

So, what should the UFC do with him next? Well, I really like a potential matchup between Dvalishvili and Pedro Munhoz (19-5, 1 NC). Munhoz just defeated Jimmie Rivera back in February which snapped a two-fight losing streak.

He’s currently ranked eighth in the UFC’s bantamweight division and he needs a quality next opponent. A matchup between Dvalishvili and Munhoz would really tell you a lot about both men.

Considering their spots, whoever would win a potential matchup between the two would be in a great position at 135. Perhaps a top five opponent would be waiting the winner. Dvalishvili needs a step up in competition, and I think Pedro Munhoz is it.

UFC Vegas 25 Results: Merab Dvalishvili defeats Cody Stamann by decision

One of the more highly anticipated matchups at UFC Vegas 25 was the bantamweight showdown between Cody Stamann (19-3-1) and Merab Dvalishvili (12-4). These two top bantamweights have been paired up before, but this is the first time that the fight actually went down.

Stamann was looking to bounce back after he suffered defeat in his last fight. He took on Jimmie Rivera during the UFC‘s first trip to Fight Island. Since that loss, we haven’t seen Stamann inside the octagon.

Stamann made his octagon debut back in 2017. Since joining the UFC a few years ago the only two men to have defeated Stamann are Rivera and the current bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling.

Sterling is one of the lead training partners of Merab Dvalishvili. Dvalishvili got off to a rough start in the UFC losing his first two. However, a switch has been flipped with the native of Georgia.

Dvalishvili has now won his last five fights in the UFC. If he could pick up a win over Stamann tonight, it would likely net him someone in the top ten for his next matchup. There was a lot on the line for both men tonight.

UFC Vegas 25 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 25 main card opener started off with a quick touch of the gloves and immediate pressure from Stamann. A beautiful head kick lands for Stamann to start the striking.

Dvalishvili opens his striking with a big 1-2 and then he connects big with an uppercut. Stamann throws another kick, but Dvalishvili catches it and takes Stamann down. Dvalishvili was heavy on the pressure, but Stamann was able to get back to his feet.

More pressure for Stamann who shoots in for his first takedown. Dvalishvili just shrugs him off, but Stamann goes right back in for a takedown. Again, Dvalishvili defends well and Stamann throws some shots on the break.

Dvalishvili lands a brief takedown, but Stamann pops right back up. A nice jab lands for Dvalishvili, but Stamann staggers him with a big straight right hand. A beautiful 1-2 lands for Merab Dvalishvili.

Straight right hand lands for Dvalishvili and then again. Stamann was heavy on the pressure and Dvalishvili lands a brief takedown. A nice scramble to end the right has Stamann on top. Good round but it’s 1-0 Dvalishvili at UFC Vegas 25.

Round 2

The second round at UFC Vegas 25 started with more pressure from Cody Stamann. Stamann opens the striking with a body kick and he pushes forward. Cody Stamann lands his first takedown and is able to keep Dvalishvili down for about thirty seconds.

Dvalishvili gets back to his feet but eats a clean left on the break. A nice jab lands for Stamann, but Dvalishvili pushes forward and lands a takedown of his own. A scramble gets the fight back to the feet and both men exchange shots.

Dvalishvili times a jab beautifully and takes down Stamann. Stamann reverses the position, but Dvalishvili locks in a deep guillotine choke. Dvalishvili cranks it, but Stamann pops his head out. Another scramble has the fight back to the feet.

Big combination lands for Dvalishvili and he’s turning up the pressure. Stamann pops the jab, but Dvalishvili gets in deep on a takedown and slams Stamann down. Stamann defends well and gets back up.

Dvalishvili has his back up against fence and he’s winging his shots. Stamann is very heavy on the pressure, but he’s not landing. The two come together and Dvalishvili lands a hip toss. The round closes and it’s 2-0 Dvalishvili at UFC Vegas 25 on my scorecard.

Round 3

Heading into the final round at UFC Vegas 25 and I think Cody Stamann needs a finish. The final round opens with a touch of the gloves and Stamann is right back on the pressure of Dvalishvili.

Solid 1-2 lands for Merab Dvalishvili. Dvalishvili pushes forward and both men exchange big shots. Another big combination lands for Dvalishvili and Stamann was starting to look a little tired here in the third.

However, he was still pressing forward looking for big shots. Dvalishvili bounces off the cage and comes forward with a nice right hand. There is just so much activity from Merab Dvalishvili here in the final round. A nice left seems to stagger Stamann.

Stamann throws a flying knee which seems to land, but Dvalishvili just smiles at him. Uppercut and left hook lands for Dvalishvili. Dvalishvili follows it with two straight crisp jabs and it’s all Dvalishvili here in the third.

Dvalishvili goes for a takedown, but Stamann defends extremely well. Stamann is able to get top position and both men start trading shots on the ground. A nice scramble sees the two men in a neutral position. The round closes and despite the top control, I give the third at UFC Vegas 25 to Merab Dvalishvili.

Merab Dvalishvili def. Cody Stamann by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

UFC Vegas 25 Preview: Cody Stamann – Merab Dvalishvili

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC Vegas 25, we will see a showdown between two bantamweights in the top fifteen. Thirteenth ranked Cody Stamann (19-3-1) takes on the surging contender, Merab Dvalishvili (12-4).

For Stamann, he will be looking to bounce back after suffering a loss in his last outing. In his last fight, Stamann took on Jimmie Rivera on one of the UFC‘s first cards on Fight Island. It was a competitive fight, but Rivera definitely got the best of Stamann.

That was just the second loss since Stamann joined the UFC back in 2017. His only other loss came against the current bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling. Sterling is also one of the main teammates of Merab Dvalishvili.

Dvalishvili didn’t get off to a hot start in the UFC. The native of Georgia lost his first two fights inside the octagon against Frankie Saenz and Ricky Simon. However, since those two losses, Dvalishvili has been nothing short of dominant.

Coming into UFC Vegas 25, Dvalishvili has won five fights in a row. Not too mention, he also set the bantamweight record for takedowns in his fight against Gustavo Lopez.

UFC Vegas 25 Prediction

I’m so intrigued by this matchup at UFC Vegas 25 because both guys are so similar. They both have tremendous wrestling and they both have ever-improving striking. It makes for such an interesting matchup.

For Stamann, he’s got to be able to withstand the pressure from Dvalishvili. Dvalishvili is going to come forward right away with a lot of pressure. The game plan for Dvalishvili is going to be to get Stamann tired with activity and pressure.

Usually with two grapplers, the fight ends up being a standup fight. If it is purely striking, I think Stamann has looked a tad more polished. However, Dvalishvili throws a lot and he’s always heavy on the activity.

I think this UFC Vegas 25 matchup is going to be decided early. There is going to be some grappling sprinkled in with this fight and whoever gets the better of it should win a decision. I don’t see a finish in this one, but I have to say, I like Merab Dvalishvili to pick up his sixth straight win in the octagon.

Prediction: Merab Dvalishvili by Unanimous Decision

UFC books Cody Stamann – Merab Dvalishvili

The UFC is finalizing a fun matchup in the bantamweight division for the third time. MMA Junkie was first to report this afternoon that the promotion has verbal agreements in place for a bantamweight matchup between Cody Stamann (19-3-1) and Merab Dvalishvili (12-4).

The matchup will take place at the UFC‘s Fight Night on May 1st. As mentioned, this is the third time that the promotion has tried to pair Dvalishvili up with Stamann. However, the previous two matchups fell through.

Now, the UFC is hoping to finally put these two top fifteen bantamweights against each other. For Cody Stamann, he’s going to be trying to get back on the winning side of things. Stamann last fought on Fight Island against Jimmie Rivera.

That night, Stamann lost a decision. That loss put Stamann at 6-2-1 in his nine fights in the UFC. The only two men who have gotten the better of him have been Rivera and the current bantamweight champion, Aljamain Sterling.

Dvalishvili looks to continue UFC winning streak

Speaking of Aljamain Sterling, he’s one of the lead training partners for Merab Dvalishvili. Dvalishvili got off to a really rocky start in the UFC. The bantamweight from Georgia lost his first matchups inside the octagon.

However, that is when his career started turning around. Since September of 2018, Dvalishvili has won five consecutive fights including wins over Casey Kenney and former UFC title challenger and Ultimate Fighter winner, John Dodson.

Dvalishvili’s wrestling has made him a problem for all of the opponents that have stood in his way. He’s also been showing some improved striking in his last couple of matchups which make him even more dangerous.

This is going to be a fun matchup of grapplers. Usually when you see these kind of matchups in the UFC, you’ll see more striking because the grappling will cancel each other out. These guys are ranked 12th and 13th and I’m excited to finally see them square off inside the octagon.

After coming up short at UFC Vegas 20, what’s next for Jimmie Rivera?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 20, Jimmie Rivera (23-5) and Pedro Munhoz (19-5, 1 NC) went to battle for the second time. The two men had previously fought back in 2015 with Jimmie Rivera edging out a split decision victory.

It was apparent from the opening bell that this fight would go a little differently. Like the first fight, this fight was very competitive. However, from the first round at UFC Vegas 20, Pedro Munhoz had the advantage.

Rivera was able to land some big punches early on, but Munhoz was doing serious damage with calf kicks. By the end of the first round, Rivera was walking with a limp and was trying to disguise how badly he was hurt.

From that moment on, Rivera couldn’t get any momentum going. Munhoz seemed to be getting the better of the exchanges due to the fact that Rivera couldn’t plant down on his shots.

In the final round at UFC Vegas 20, Jimmie Rivera did go for it. He was swinging with everything he had trying to get the finish he needed, but it wasn’t enough. In the end, Pedro Munhoz walked away with a unanimous decision victory.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 20?

Jimmie Rivera started his UFC career at 5-0. At that point in his career, he was 21-1 heading into a matchup against Marlon Moraes. Since that matchup, Jimmie Rivera is just 2-4 in six matchups.

However, it is worth noting that all four of the losses came against guys who are inside the UFC’s top eight at bantamweight. Rivera has only lost to some of the elites in the division so it’s not time to write off El Terror just yet.

With the loss, I think you need to look down in the divisional rankings for his next matchup. One fight I would be interested in is seeing Rivera take on Chito Vera (16-7-1). Vera has looked great over the last couple of years and he’s 15th in the division.

He’s coming off of a loss as well so the timing makes sense. Another potential matchup could be Rivera against Merab Dvalishvili (12-4). Merab has won five in a row and he’s currently ranked 12th. From a rankings perspective, this could be the angle the UFC goes with.

UFC 252 Recap: Stipe Miocic cements himself as the UFC’s heavyweight GOAT

MMA, Stipe Miocic

UFC 252 was filled with solid action from start to finish. Fight fans got to witness the conclusion to perhaps the greatest trilogy in MMA history as Stipe Miocic (20-3) and Daniel Cormier (22-3, 1 NC) went to war for third time to once and for all settle the debate on who is the greatest heavyweight in UFC history.

Stipe Miocic becomes the UFC’s heavyweight GOAT

In the main event of the evening, two of the greatest of all time battled it out to see who was the greatest heavyweight in UFC history. Cormier was looking to prove the first fight wasn’t a fluke while Miocic was looking to prove that DC’s only win in the rivalry was just that.

As the trilogy kicked off, both men touched gloves. Miocic opened with a leg kick. Both men appeared to be showing a lot of feints. Stipe landed a nice jab a minute in. Another strong low kick for Miocic.

Cormier shot for his first takedown just after the one minute mark. He briefly got Stipe down, but Miocic worked his way back up. DC started leaning on Stipe against the cage. Miocic was able to break the clinch.

DC was not throwing a lot of shots early on. Stipe was looking very fluid with his striking. Both men exchanged massive shots with about two minutes left in the round. The action came to a stop after DC landed a big eye poke.

As the action resumed, both men exchanged low kicks. Miocic landed a couple of big body shots which he followed with a solid right. DC landed a couple of big right hands late in the round. Both men exchanged big shots again and DC briefly floored Stipe to end the round. Because of that final exchange, I lean DC in round one.

As the second round started, Miocic looked to push forward. 30 seconds in, Stipe pushed forward with a couple of big shots that landed. The two men came close in a clinch and DC landed some massive shots off the break.

Stipe continued to look for good body shots throughout the first half of the round. Three minutes into the round, Stipe landed a big left hook. Cormier responded with a couple of clean jabs. The action really started to pick up late.

Miocic tried to trip Cormier in a clinch but it wasn’t successful. Cormier landed a couple of big combinations with about a minute left. Stipe rocks and floors Cormier late in the round. Miocic goes right to the mount. Close to a stoppage, but the round ends. The champion takes round two.

The third round started and Miocic looked to pressure DC. Cormier still didn’t look recovered. DC started throwing big counters, but he wasn’t on steady legs. Stipe was just stalking Cormier landing good shots.

Stipe kept trying to come over the top with big one-twos. DC clinched Miocic a minute into the round. Stipe was just leaning on DC against the cage. The two men broke with three minutes left.

DC looked to be a little more on steady legs and throwing jabs and low kicks. Miocic pushed forward again and landed some good shots that briefly hurt Cormier again. Those shots led to another clinch against the cage.

The two men broke with a minute left in the round. Stipe continued to push forward. Cormier started pushing forward late in the round, and was looking a lot more sturdy. Stipe briefly rocked Cormier again, but DC countered with a big right of his own. Another round for the champion.

The fourth round started and Cormier’s eye was almost swollen shut due to a late eye poke in the third round. DC was keeping his hands up high early on. Cormier landed a nice jab which he followed with a nice one-two.

Right after, Stipe walked Cormier to the cage in the clinch. The two men broke and Cormier landed a nice jab which Stipe followed with a solid right. DC was having a lot of issues seeing the rights from Stipe. Miocic was finding a home for those.

Three minutes in and both men landed massive right hands. Stipe continued to walk down DC. Stipe pushed Cormier again to the cage with about 90 seconds left in the round. Both men exchanged knees in the clinch.

DC used a trip attempt to create space. Cormier followed with a couple of good shots before Miocic again pushed him against the fence. The round came to an end, and I lean slightly towards Cormier who landed more shots. I have it 2-2 entering the final round.

The final round of the trilogy began with a touch of the gloves. 30 seconds in and Stipe looked a little fresher. DC landed a jab but Stipe pushed forward with a solid one-two. Another big combination from Stipe.

Cormier pushed Stipe against the fence, but Miocic reversed the position. The two men finally break halfway through the round. Both men exchanged massive shots that briefly hurt each other. They clinched again, and DC landed a massive right hook.

Miocic again pushed Cormier against the fence with two minutes left in the round. Stipe landed a big combination against the fence. DC pushed forward, but Stipe landed some shots. Stipe shot for a takedown, but DC defended.

A couple of big shots from Cormier landed, but Miocic pushed DC right back against the fence. The final 30 seconds of the trilogy ended with Miocic laying against DC on the fence. A grueling fight.

In the end, I give the final round to Stipe which would give him the fight 48-47 on my scorecard. The judges unanimously agreed giving the fight to Stipe Miocic (49-46, 49-46, 48-47). After that fight, it’s clear that Stipe Miocic is the greatest heavyweight in UFC history.

Injury leads the Suga Show’s first loss

In the co-main event of the evening, Suga Sean O’Malley (12-0) took on Chito Vera (15-6-1) in a battle of UFC bantamweights. O’Malley was looking for a victory on the biggest stage he had fought on so far.

As the fight got underway, O’Malley landed a massive leg kick that buckled Vera. O’Malley’s kicks were really strong early on. Chito was buckled twice early by leg kicks. O’Malley had his hands down early on.

Chito was getting hit hard every time O’Malley threw kicks. Vera started trying to press O’Malley up against the cage, but Suga seemed very composed. O’Malley buckled bad on his right foot and looked hurt.

Chito started really stalking O’Malley. Suga started landing some clean shots trying to hide the injury. O’Malley crumbles on clearly a comprimised leg. Chito lands a couple of elbows and Herb Dean calls a stop to the action. Very quick stoppage, but the injury had a lot to do with it.

Rozenstruik KO’s JDS in the Second

The third fight of the main card featured former UFC heavyweight champion, Junior Dos Santos (21-8), taking on top contender Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-1). Both men were looking to bounce back after getting knocked out in their previous fights.

As the first round began, JDS opened with a leg kick. Both men appeared to be feeling the other out early on. Rozenstruik opened his striking with a massive leg kick. About 90 seconds in Dos Santos looked for a big head kick.

JDS extended for a shot, and Rozenstruik landed a big counter check hook two minutes in. Dos Santos threw his big looping right and left hook combo which landed nicely after that. JDS followed that up with a clean jab.

Rozenstruik throughout the first round did a really good job of landing inside leg kicks. Rozenstruik caught a JDS kick and blitzed trying to land some big shots. The two men briefly clinched before breaking. Dos Santos landed a big right off the break. Entertaining first round that I give to Dos Santos.

To begin the second round, Rozenstruik opened immediately with a leg kick. He tried to push forward, but nothing landed. Both men landed big leg kicks on each other in the first minute.

Dos Santos landed a nice clean right 90 seconds in. He followed that up with a couple of stiff jabs. JDS also landed a really nice lead left hook that snuck past the guard. Halfway through the round JDS landed a big straight right hand. Dos Santos was looking good.

Rozenstruik landed a big overhand right with about 90 seconds left in the round. He really started to press forward after that. JDS was floored by a big right hand. Dos Santos worked his way back up, but a couple of big shots put him down for good. A massive bounce back UFC win for Rozenstruik.

Daniel Pineda keeps 100% finish rate

The second fight on the main card was a UFC featherweight contest between Herbert Burns (11-3) and Daniel Pineda (27-13, 2 NC). Burns missed weight in this contest which forced him to give up 20% of his fight purse to Pineda.

Both fighters touched gloves to start the fight. Pineda landed a massive right hand to open things up. Pineda shot in for a takedown after landing a few more big shots. Burns was able to cut Pineda just before getting taken down.

Pineda was able to land some big shots from the top. Burns kept trying to throw up submissions, but nothing was sticking. Pineda continued to land big punches and elbows from the top as the round went on.

Burns was able to land a decent upkick when Pineda stood up briefly. Pineda got right back to top position after that. He then start landing solid shots from the top. Dominant first round for Daniel Pineda.

As the second round started, Burns was able to land some solid shots before transitioning to a takedown. Burns was able to get Pineda down to the ground with ease.

Pineda did a good job of working his way back to his feet, but Burns dragged him right back down. Burns had top control for a couple of minutes. Pineda was able to reverse the position with about two minutes left in the round.

Pineda was able to secure a crucifix position with about a minute left in the round. A few big unanswered shots caused the referee to call a stop to the action. Pineda keeps his 100% finish rate in his UFC return.

Dvalishvili stifles John Dodson over three rounds

Kicking off the PPV main card was a battle between two UFC top fifteen bantamweights as John Dodson (21-12) took on Merab Dvalishvili (12-4).

As the first round got underway, Dodson immediately took the center of the cage. Both fighters didn’t do much in the first minute just feeling the other out. Dodson would explode a couple of times early, but nothing significant landed.

Dvalishvili finally shot in for a takedown halfway through the round. He was able to get Dodson down a couple of times briefly, but Dodson exploded right back up. Due to no top control, Dvalishvili didn’t get credit for those attempts. Dvalishvili landed very solid knees in the clinch while he tried to get Dodson down.

Dodson did a very good job defending takedowns, but Dvalishvili landed extremely hard knees to the thighs in the clinch. With a minute left, Dodson finally broke the clinch. Nothing followed the break which means a clear round for Dvalishvili.

Both men touched gloves as the second round began. Dodson seemed to be waiting on Dvalishvili to come in so he could counter strike. Dvalishvili shot for a takedown in the first minute but couldn’t land it which brought him to 0-8 on takedown attempts.

Dvalishvili picked up Dodson and slammed him to the ground, but before Dvalishvili could get on top, Dodson popped up. Dodson was clipped by a spinning backfist and right hook which led to another Dvalishvili takedown attempt.

Two minutes left in the round and again Dvalishvili slammed Dodson down, but before he could get on top, Dodson popped right back up. Dodson attempt to landed some shots near the end of the round but nothing landed. Two rounds in the books for Dvalishvili.

Both fighters hugged and screamed at each other to start the final round. Dvalishvili landed a decent leg kick to start the striking. Dodson looked to still be looking for the perfect counter.

Dvalishvili landed a solid right hand two minutes into the round and transitioned to a takedown attempt. He slammed Dodson, but again, Dodson got right back up. Halfway through the round, Dodson finally landed a really good counter left hook.

Dvalishvili smiled at the shot before pushing forward. Dodson appeared to be tiring late in the final round. Dvalishvili landed a big right hand with about 90 seconds left in the round.

Not a ton of action in the final minute of the fight. Clear third round for Dvalishvili as well giving him the fight 30-27 on my scorecard. The judges agreed unanimously (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). The fifth straight UFC win for Dvalishvili.

UFC 252 Final Thoughts

UFC 252 saw Stipe Miocic cement his legacy as the greatest heavyweight in the promotions history following his second victory over Daniel Cormier.

Tonight we also saw a bump in the road for the Suga Show who suffered his first career loss after injury his leg. It was an exciting night of fights that has produced so many interesting storylines.

UFC 252 Preview: Will Stipe Miocic or Daniel Cormier walk away as the heavyweight GOAT?

Tomorrow night, UFC 252 will see the conclusion of arguably the greatest trilogy in the history of MMA. Stipe Miocic (19-3) and Daniel Cormier (22-2, 1 NC) will go to war for the third time to once and for all settle the debate on who is the greatest heavyweight in UFC history.

The card is absolutely stacked with fights that should have UFC fans feeling the goosebumps already. Let’s take a dive into the main card for some previews and predictions.

Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier for the UFC heavyweight title

The main event of the evening is a fight that is one year in the making as the heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic, takes on the former champion, Daniel Cormier, for the third time.

Both of these men have won a fight against the other by knockout. This fight will truly determine the greatest heavyweight in UFC history.

For Cormier, there has only been two men in his career who have gotten the best of him. That would be Miocic and Jon Jones. Jones beat him twice although one was overturned due to Jones failing a drug test.

After Jones was stripped of his title following the second fight being overturned, Cormier resumed life as light heavyweight champion. He defended the title once before moving up to challenge Miocic for the heavyweight title.

DC knocked Miocic out in the first round. He had become a two division champion. He’s defeated the best that light heavyweight and heavyweight have had to offer. However, he would go on to lose to Miocic in the rematch.

If Cormier were to lose again, the only two men to have ever beaten him, would have both done it multiple times. That will be tough for DC the competitor to take. The Olympic wrestler is one of the greatest fighters of all time, but he needs this win to cement himself.

Miocic is the only heavyweight in UFC history to defend the title three times successfully. Stipe had to work for everything during his career. After back-to-back knockouts of Mark Hunt and Andrei Arlovski back in 2015/2016, Miocic demanded he get a shot at the title.

He went to enemy territory and knocked out the champion, Fabricio Werdum. Miocic then went on to defeat Alistair Overeem, Junior Dos Santos, and Francis Ngannou before losing the title to Cormier at UFC 226.

The second fight was a back and forth war that DC was controlling. He was landing more strikes and found some success wrestling. However, Stipe made adjustments just like a champion should.

In the fourth round, Miocic found success going to the body. After going to the body over and over, Miocic was able to transition to a head combination that put DC out.

These are clearly the two best heavyweights in the world. They both have knockout power, they both have good grappling, and they both know how to grind and fight their way through wars.

This is just a tough fight to predict. Despite both men having finished the other, I don’t think this one is going to end early. I think this will be the first of their three fights to see the scorecards.

I believe that this fight is going to be razor close because these two men are so equal in their skill. If it does go to the cards, I’m leaning towards Cormier. Especially rounds 1-3, DC’s hand speed and wrestling will really give him an advantage.

I see Stipe being a lot stronger as the fight goes on, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Stipe ended up winning rounds 3-5. However, I think DC will do enough to take the first three rounds and survive the onslaught from Stipe near the end. DC will walk away as heavyweight champion on Saturday, but nothing would honestly shock me.

Prediction: Daniel Cormier by Split Decision

Sean O’Malley vs Marlon “Chito” Vera

The co-main event of the evening will feature the Suga Show. Arguably the UFC‘s brightest young star, Sean O’Malley (12-0), will be facing off against Chito Vera (15-6-1).

O’Malley was featured on just the second episode ever of Dana White’s Contender Series. That night, you realized there was something special about O’Malley. Since then, the guy has been like a rocket ship in terms of popularity.

2020 has been incredible for O’Malley. After issues with USADA that kept him out for two years, O’Malley has returned looking like a completely different fighter. He looks so much better than he did a couple of years ago.

His performances show that as he’s knocked out Jose Alberto Quinonez and Eddie Wineland both in the first round. Suga’s very long for the division and his striking is incredibly crisp.

We’ve also seen how tough he is when he fought Andre Soukhamthath. O’Malley broke his foot in that fight and couldn’t even stand. However he hopped around for the final round and gritted it out for a decision victory. O’Malley is the real deal.

Chito Vera is a very tough test for O’Malley. Vera is coming off of a loss to Song Yadong in a fight that some believe that he won. That fight snapped a five fight winning streak for Vera.

Chito has really good striking, and he’s got very good skills on the ground. One of the biggest knocks on Vera is his slow starts. Sometimes Vera can be a bit gun shy out of the gate.

That could be a massive problem fighting a guy like O’Malley. He cannot let himself stay on the outside being too patient or he will be picked apart. For Vera to win, he’s got to be aggressive early and he has to make it an ugly fight.

I’ve been on the O’Malley hype train since day one and I’m staying on it. I believe that O’Malley has that Conor McGregor vibe to him. While Vera will definitely be game, I think O’Malley’s precision and power are just going to be too much.

Prediction: Sean O’Malley by TKO – Round 2

Junior Dos Santos vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik

The third fight of the main card features two top six UFC heavyweights as former champion, Junior Dos Santos (21-7), takes on Jairzinho Rozenstruik (10-1).

This is a massive fight for the former champion, Dos Santos. Dos Santos has lost back-to-back fights by knockout. Those losses coming after Cigano had won three consecutive fights.

After losing the heavyweight title back in 2012, Dos Santos has been on a mission to get back to the UFC title. He’s fought for the title twice since losing it and both of those fights he lost by stoppage.

Since the first war with Cain Velasquez, Cigano has been finished five times. Despite that, Dos Santos still possesses arguably the best pure boxing in the heavyweight division.

For Bigi Boy, he’s looking to rebound after a rough first round loss to Francis Ngannou. Rozenstruik came into that fight undefeated, but was finished in just 20 seconds. Had Rozenstruik won that fight, he would have been next in line for the title.

Rozenstruik has tremendous striking with incredible knockout power. He also has shown tremendous heart as shown in the Alistair Overeem fight. Overeem had clearly been winning the fight, but Bigi Boy put him out in the final ten seconds of the fight.

This fight is so interesting because both men bring tremendous striking to the cage. Cigano has beautiful boxing while Rozenstruik has very good kickboxing.

Most people think that this fight won’t go the distance, but I’m in the minority that thinks it will. I think Rozenstruik will be a little more cautious after getting finished by Ngannou in his last one. I think Cigano’s boxing will allow him to score more points over three rounds.

Prediction: Junior Dos Santos by Unanimous Decision

John Dodson vs Merab Dvalishvili

The second fight of the evening pairs a couple of top 15 UFC bantamweights as former title challenger, John Dodson (21-11), takes on Merab Dvalishvili (11-4).

Dodson was able to prove to everyone in his last fight that he’s still a very powerful fighter at 135 pounds. The Magician got a third round TKO win over Nathaniel Wood. That win came after Dodson had lost three out of four.

Now, I will give Dodson a break considering those three opponents are all in the top seven and one is the current champion, Petr Yan. Dodson is going to come at you with ridiculous speed looking to put your lights out.

Dvalishvili on the other hand is going to look to take you down and smother you. The Machine is known for his dominant wrestling and that was on full display at UFC on ESPN 10.

Dvalishvili took on Gustavo Lopez and set a UFC bantamweight record in takedowns with 13. His main training partner is top contender Aljamain Sterling, so you know that Dvalishvili is going to be ready.

When it comes to the prediction, it’s a matter of where the fight takes place. The speed and accuracy of Dodson will win him the fight if he can keep it on the feet. That’s a giant if.

I think that Dvalishvili is going to be able to get Dodson down particularly in the last two rounds of the fight. I expect Dodson to have moments, but Dvalishvili’s wrestling to be too much in the end.

Prediction: Merab Dvalishvili by Unanimous Decision

Herbert Burns vs Daniel Pineda

Kicking off the main card of UFC 252 is a featherweight fight between Herbert Burns (11-2) and the returning Daniel Pineda (26-13, 2 NC). Pineda is returning to the octagon after six years of fighting in other promotions.

Burns, who is the younger brother of top welterweight contender Gilbert Burns, will be making his third appearance in the octagon. He earned himself a contract after a triangle armbar victory on Dana White’s Contender Series.

Burns has won his first two UFC fights by first round stoppage. One by KO and one by submission. The Blaze is elite on the ground just like his brother. Burns competes in top level Jiu Jitsu tournaments all over the world when he’s not fighting.

Daniel Pineda was having himself quite the 2019. Pineda entered PFL’s featherweight tournament and had two first round finishes. Elevated testosterone levels did change those two victories to non contests.

If you would have counted those, Pineda would have been returning to the octagon on a five fight first round finish streak. All 26 of Pineda’s wins have come via finish.

In looking at this fight, I’m struggling to find Pineda’s advantage. I don’t see him being the better striker, and he’s good on the ground (18 submissions), but he’s not Burns good. Burns is world class on the ground.

I think that Burns is going to have the clear advantage in this fight, and the odds speak to that. I’m going with Burns, but I think he’s going to win by showing off his superior skills on the ground.

Prediction: Herbert Burns by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 2

UFC 252 Outlook

This main event and card gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. We are seeing arguably the two greatest heavyweights of all time fighting for the third time to settle once and for all, who is the baddest man on the planet. UFC 252 is going to be a night to remember for fight fans everywhere.

UFC on ESPN 10 Preview: Jessica Eye welcomes Cynthia Calvillo to flyweight

The UFC is on fire right now with a ton of hot news and fights every weekend. With that, the UFC hosts it’s third event at the APEX this weekend for UFC on ESPN 10. The event will be headlined by the popular, Cynthia Calvillo (8-1-1), who is making her flyweight debut against former title challenger, Jessica “Evil” Eye (15-7). While the main event choice has received it’s fair share of criticism, there are some solid fights on the card Saturday night. With that in mind, let’s dive into the card and breakdown some of the fights scheduled for this Saturday.

UFC flyweight debut for Calvillo against “Evil” Eye

Cynthia Calvillo was a very bright prospect in the UFC’s strawweight division. Calvillo made her debut back in 2017, and she won her first three fights in the UFC including a win over Joanne Calderwood who is next in line to fight champion, Valentina Shevchenko. Calvillo then ran into Carla Esparza who gave Calvillo her first career loss. Following that fight, Calvillo’s biggest adversary was her weight. She would miss weight multiple times which is why she is now moving up to flyweight. Calvillo is training at AKA, and I expect to see some improvement in her striking in this fight. She has pretty good wrestling, and I think the lack of a weight cut is going to help her stay fresher throughout the fight.

Jessica Eye has had a very interesting career in the UFC. When you look at her UFC record of 5-6-1, you would not think of her as a top fighter. However, since dropping down to flyweight from 135 pounds, Eye has seen her fortunes in the UFC change. She’s gone 4-1 since the drop with her only loss coming by way of a vicious head kick to the champion, Shevchenko. Eye has some pretty good hands is the type of fighter who always seem to do just enough in the judges eyes to get a decision. She doesn’t have knockout power, but she lands at a decent enough clip to win decisions.

To me this fight is going to come down to how Calvillo looks in this new weight class. I believe that she has more tools than Eye does, but it’ll be interesting to see her go up against someone stronger than she is. We are talking about two women who used to fight two weight classes apart. If Calvillo is able to mix her takedowns in with her striking, I think she can walk away with a decision. If the fight stays at range, I think Eye can have a classic performance where she just does enough in the judges eyes. The odds are even for this fight, and I can see why. I don’t see either woman getting a finish, so it will be a coin toss in the hands of the judges. I’m going to go with Calvillo here by the slightest of margins.

Prediction: Cynthia Calvillo by Split Decision

Karl Roberson vs Marvin Vettori

The co-main event of the evening is the fight that I’m looking forward to the most. We have Marvin Vettori (14-4-1) taking on Karl Roberson (9-2). These two men were supposed to fight a month ago, but due to Roberson getting sick from his weight cut, the fight was called off. A video went viral of a furious Vettori going after Roberson in their hotel lobby. These two men do not like each other, and they finally get to fight. Vettori has looked really good in his last couple of fights where he’s won against Cezar Ferreira and Andrew Sanchez. Vettori is the kind of guy who is going to constantly press forward in a fight. He’s pretty well-rounded with solid striking and a really good wrestling base. He’s got great submission skills which might come in handy during this fight.

Last year, Roberson dropped down from 205 to 185 and has won his first two fights at middleweight. Roberson has very good striking, and his power is going to translate really well at this weight class. The one knock on Roberson is his lack of ground game which could really hurt him in this fight. Expect Vettori to push the pace a lot in this fight, and for Roberson to win, his counter striking is going to need to be on point. If this fight stays on the feet, I definitely think that Roberson can win, but I see this fight getting taken to the ground throughout the fight. A popular pick in this fight is Vettori by decision, but I’m going to say that Vettori gets in a dominant position in the second round, and finishes the fight with an arm-triangle choke.

Prediction: Marvin Vettori by Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) – Round 2

Merab Dvalishvili vs Gustavo Lopez

The third fight of the main card features a catchweight bout between Combate Americas batamweight champion, Gustavo Lopez (11-4), and Merab Dvalishvili (10-4). Dvalishvili was originally scheduled to fight Ray Borg on Saturday night, but due to personal reasons, Borg pulled out of the fight. Lopez decided to step in on short notice to fight Dvalishvili. Because Lopez is stepping in on such short notice, they have decided to make the fight a catchweight fight. Lopez is making his UFC debut on the heels of three consecutive first round finishes. In eleven career victories, Lopez has only gone to a decision once. Lopez has a great overall game, and I’m very interested to watch him make his debut on Saturday night, even if he didn’t have a camp to prepare. Him stepping in like this shows the kind of fighter that Gustavo Lopez is.

Dvalishvili has looked pretty good in his last three outings. Dvalishvili has won all three of his fights by unanimous decision. Dvalishvili is very strong and has a very strong wrestling base. With a lack of a camp, this matchup favors Dvalishvili by a lot. With no camp to prepare, you can’t imagine that Lopez’s cardio is at peak condition. Dvalishvili needs to really engage in the grappling early on in this one. Expect Lopez to come out very fast early on, but I’m not sure he will be able to stop Dvalishvili from taking him down. Even if he can keep Dvalishvili off of him in the first round, the last two are going to be a handful. I like Lopez, but it’s hard to see him pulling off a victory on such short notice over Dvalishvili.

Prediction: Merab Dvalishvili by Unanimous Decision

Andre Fili vs Charles Jourdain

The second fight of the main card is a very interesting matchup between UFC veteran, Andre Fili (20-7) and Canadian prospect, Charles Jourdain (10-2). Fili is a very solid fighter who has been in the UFC for a long time. Fili made his UFC debut back in 2013, and for the most part, has only taken losses against top level competition. You could consider him a little bit of a gate keeper in the featherweight division. Five of his six losses have been to guys like Max Holloway, Yair Rodriguez, Calvin Katter, Michael Johnson, and Sodiq Yusuff. Fili fights very well from distance, and he does a great job at mixing hin some grappling. He’s going to be a very tough matchup for the 24-year-old Canadian.

Jourdain shocked everyone in his last UFC appearance by knocking out Doo Ho Choi in Korea. Jourdain has ten professional wins, and he’s finished all ten of those wins. Jourdain has really good power, and he’s got some solid submission skills to go along with it. From what I’ve seen, he does lack a little in the wrestling game which might hurt him in this matchup, but overall, he’s a very bright prospect for the UFC. This is a very tough matchup for Jourdain. While Jourdain has very good power, Fili is one of the tougher guys to put away. Yusuff, Katter, and former champion, Max Holloway, couldn’t put Fili away. I think Fili is going to use his five-inch reach advantage well in this fight to stay on the outside. Jourdain’s best chance is to catch Fili coming in. Fili is going to mix in some wrestling in, and I think he’s going to be able to take Jourdain down a few times throughout the fight.

Prediction: Andre Fili by Unanimous Decision

Jordan Espinosa vs Mark De La Rosa

The main card on ESPN kicks off with a flyweight contest between Jordan Espinosa (14-7) and Mark De La Rosa (11-4). This is a very important fight for both men as they both enter this fight on multiple fight losing streaks. De La Rosa bounced back from his UFC debut loss to Tim Elliot by winning back to back fights which got him a shot at top contender, Alex Perez. Starting with the Perez fight, it’s been all downhill for De La Rosa, losing three consecutive fights including getting knocked out in his last performance. De La Rosa needs to make this fight ugly to win. He’s got a decent all-around game, but he doesn’t really shine in any one area which might be his problem in this matchup.

Espinosa grabbed a win in his UFC debut against Eric Shelton, but since then, he’s lost back to back fights by getting submitted in the first round. Espinosa has really good speed, and very good wrestling. I think Espinosa has a clear advantage going into this fight with his speed and overall game. I think he’s going to need to keep this fight clean by keeping De La Rosa down when he takes him down, or picking him apart using his speed on the feet. I just think when it comes down to it that Espinosa has more paths to victory. I think he snaps his two-fight losing streak by handing De La Rosa his fourth consecutive loss in this one.

Prediction: Jordan Espinosa by Unanimous Decision

UFC of ESPN 10 Outlook

This is definitely not the strongest card that Dana White and the UFC has put together, but there are some intriguing matches on this card. I’m very interested in watching the Fili/Jourdain matchup as well as the co-main event. I would not go into this card expecting to see a lot of finishes. Yes, it will likely be a long night of decisions, but I think we are going to see a couple of really good and action packed fights along the way.