UFC 298 results: Merab Dvalishvili overwhelms Henry Cejudo, calls for bantamweight title shot

Merab Dvalishvili has now won 10 straight fights, all but solidifying his position as the next man up for a bantamweight title shot.

On the main card of UFC 298 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., Dvalishvili (17-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) took on former champion Henry Cejudo in an important bout for the 135-pound division. Cejudo (16-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) showed flashes of what led him to capture titles in two divisions, but was ultimately overwhelmed by the pressure presented by Dvalishvili, who claimed victory with unanimous 29-28 scores.

Dvalishvili kept Cejudo on his toes early by offering a pair of spinning kicks right out of the gate. Cejudo remained calm and studied the range. Soon enough, Cejudo cracked Dvalishvili with a hard left hand that caused him to stumble backward. A few moments later though, Dvalishvili grabbed a single leg and kicked out the plant foot for a nice takedown, but Cejudo returned to his feet quickly.

Dvalishivili landed a nice punch and charged for a takedown, but Cejudo reversed to take top position. After banking some top control time, Dvalishvili scrambled to a standing clinch against the fence. A few strikes were traded in close, and then after separating before the horn.

Cejudo’s wrestling game was on display early in Round 2, changing levels nicely. Dvalishvili reacted well to prevent the takedown completion, however. Back in the center of the cage, striking exchanges ensued. Dvalishvili cracked Cejudo with a hard punch, getting the crowd excited. Cejudo weathered the blitz and got back to grappling threats, but began to show signs of fatigue.

In the final seconds of the round, Dvalishvili locked in a guillotine choke and began showboating by talking to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who was seated cageside.

Cejudo’s left forearm was badly swollen at the start of the final round.

Dvalishvili hunted for the takedown repeatedly in the first half of the frame, but Cejudo was able to defend. With just over two minutes to go, Dvalishvili lifted and carried Cejudo across the cage before slamming him to the canvas. Dvalishvili racked up some control time and avoided any last-ditch effort from Cejudo to land a home run shot in the closing seconds.

After the judges rendered their decision in his favor, Dvalishvili used his post-fight interview time to make his case for the next title shot.

“I’m ready. I’m ready for 10 rounds,” Dvalishvili told Joe Rogan. “Whoever will be champion, I’m going to face him next. I’ve been calling Sean O’Malley since 2018. … My only goal is for the title now.”

Bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley, who was seated cageside, takes on Marlon Vera in the main event of UFC 299 next month.

Dvalishvili has now won 10 straight fights, including three straight victories over former champions, including Jose Aldo, Petr Yan, and now Cejudo.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 298 results include:

  • Merab Dvalishvili def. Henry Cejudo via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Anthony Hernandez def. Roman Kopylov via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 3:23

  • Amanda Lemos def. Mackenzie Dern via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Marcos Rogerio de Lima def. Junior Tafa via TKO (leg kicks, punches) – Round 2, 1:14

  • Rinya Nakamura def. Carlos Vera via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Zhang Mingyang def. Brendson Ribeiro via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:41

  • Danny Barlow def. Josh Quinlan via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 1:18

  • Oban Elliott def. Val Woodburn via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

  • Miranda Maverick def. Andrea Lee via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 298.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie

First appeared on sports.yahoo.com

Leave a Comment