“I’ll be ready”- Merab Dvalishvili is confident his wrestling skills will hold up well against Henry Cejudo


Merab Dvalishvili is confident his wrestling skills will hold up well against Henry Cejudo

Merab Dvalishvili has accepted Henry Cejudo’s invitation to battle, but not until the end of the year.

After losing to bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling at UFC 288, Cejudo (16-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) sought a rematch against Sterling’s colleague Dvalishvili (16-4 MMA, 9-3 UFC).

On August 19 at UFC 292, Sterling is expected to defend his title against Sean O’Malley, and Cejudo planned to face Dvalishvili on the same card. Due to Dvalishvili’s recent hand surgery, “The Machine” will not be completed until the fourth quarter of 2023.

Henry Cejudo
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 19: Henry Cejudo reacts after defeating TJ Dillashaw in the first round during their UFC Flyweight title match at UFC Fight Night at Barclays Center on January 19, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Speaking with The Schmo about the potential clash, Dvalishvili stated:

“I was injured before my last fight. I punched somebody in the gym, and I broke some bones. I was injured, but I still fought Yan. I needed surgery, (which) I did last Tuesday. Now I’m recovering. I will be able to punch in three months, and I will be able to train again in six weeks. But punch, I need three months to punch.” [via MMA Junkie]

“No, I won’t be able to fight because I need to train again. I need to get ready. I don’t think I’ll be ready for August. But maybe, we’ll see, another time. For sure (in the fall or late 2023). I’m gonna start running soon. I’m gonna start swimming. After this will be to heal up and everything. I’ll be ready, man.”

Dvalishvilli added:

““I’m a fighter. I know he’s an Olympic-champion wrestler, but this is MMA. I can fight anywhere. Even if he wants wrestling, no problem. Everybody knows my wrestling is too good – for MMA. Olympic rules, of course he will beat me, like in straight wrestling. But straight MMA is where it counts.”

Henry Cejudo claims Jon Jones does not need a fight against Francis Ngannou to prove his greatness

Jones vs. Ngannou is arguably the biggest (in more ways than one) of the many fantastic fantasy matchups fans have longed to witness in MMA history. After a disappointing second title defense from 2018–2020, UFC light heavyweight champion Jones finally made the jump to heavyweight after teasing the move for a decade.

Jones took three years off to focus on his personal development, and during that time a lot transpired in the mixed martial arts world as well as in his own life. The primary reason Ngannou vs. Jones is being discussed so much is that Ngannou recently become the heavyweight champion with a thundering knockout of his former rival and legendary champion Stipe Miocic. Several negotiation problems and failed discussions ultimately resulted in the match never happening, and instead, both fighters won titles in their most recent bouts against Ciryl Gane.

While Jones was on hiatus from competition, he began to train with some new people, including two-division champion and former UFC lightweight Henry Cejudo. In the end, “Triple C” doesn’t think the bout is significant to “Bones’” storied career in the sport:

“Getting a chance to know Jon, I don’t think Jon really cares. I don’t think Jon needs a guy like Francis Ngannou to be able to say that he is the greatest of all-time. The reality is Jon doesn’t need any of those guys. The guy he probably does want to beat is the greatest heavyweight of all-time, his name is Stipe Miocic. At the end of the day, people will look at the credentials, people will look at the numbers, and people will see that Stipe Miocic is the baddest heavyweight on the roster in UFC history. Numbers don’t lie. As a matter of fact, he has a win over Francis Ngannou … a domination that he had for five rounds.”

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