Merab Dvalishvili
The Machine


Uses wrestling and pace to take decision
February 15, 2020
Dvalishvili defeated Casey Kenney via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 29-28) at UFC Rio Rancho on Saturday.
Dvalishvili came out like his typical self looking to push the pace, but after settling in, he utilized his wrestling to get Kenney to the mat on several occasions, but was unable to keep him there. At around the 90-second mark, Dvalishvili executed a slam and rushed to follow up with ground-and-pound, but Kenney was able to scramble back to his feet and record some return fire towards the end of the round. Entering the second round with four takedowns under his belt (unofficially), Dvalishvili came out aggressive early and continued to look for spinning attacks. He had a bit of a tougher time getting takedowns in this frame, but Dvalishvili was still the aggressor and presumably banked another round. Dvalishvili remained the fresher fighter in the third, with Kenny starting to load up on his shots and leaving the door open for another takedown around the midway point. He rode out the rest of the round and finished on Kenney's back, leaving little doubt in the eye of the judges.
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Will fight at UFC Rio Rancho
December 19, 2019
Dvalishvili (9-4-0) will take on Casey Kenney (13-1-1) in a bantamweight matchup at UFC Rio Rancho on Feb. 15, reports.
Dvalishvili is coming off back-to-back victories, most recently against Brad Katona via unanimous decision at UFC Ottawa in May. Kenney is perfect in his first two UFC bouts after defeating Manny Bermudez via unanimous decision at UFC 241 in August. Dvalishvili carries an advantage in striking rate, although Kenney has shown to be slightly more accurate in his striking over his limited sample size. The two fighters are even in height and reach.
Winner of back-to-back fights
May 4, 2019
Dvalishvili defeated Brad Katona via unanimous decision (27-30, 27-30, 27-30) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Ottawa.
Born in Tbilsi, Georgia, Dvalishvili now trains with the Serra-Longo team on Long Island. That camp is full of great wrestlers and Merab is their latest grappling prodigy. He landed 5-of-9 takedowns against Katona on Saturday and the end result was a 215-43 edge in total strikes landed. Nicknamed "The Machine" by his teammates, Dvalishvili bring elite cardio to the table. His grappling and energy level give him a decent chance against most any opponent. He was won back-to-back fights after dropping his first two UFC bouts.
Facing Brad Katona at UFC Ottawa
February 20, 2019
Dvalishvili (8-4-0) is scheduled to face Brad Katona (8-0-0) in a bantamweight fight May 4 at UFC Ottawa, Aaron Bronsteter of reports.
Dvalishvili will enter the Octagon for the fourth time after securing his first victory as a member of the promotion Sept. 15 at UFC Moscow, where he won in three rounds over Terrion Ware in a unanimous decision. The 28-year-old likely won't have much of a cheering section in front of the Ottawa crowd, which should back Katona heavily while he fights in his native country for the second time in a row. Katona most recently defeated Matthew Lopez via unanimous decision in December at UFC 231 in Toronto.
Victorious via unanimous decision in UFC's Moscow debut
September 15, 2018
Dvalishvili defeated Terrion Ware via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-25) at UFC Moscow on Saturday.
Dvalishvili dominated Ware in this fight. Coming into the fight he had 17 takedowns in his first two Octagon appearances, and he continued that trend against Ware. Dvalishvili constantly took Ware down throughout the fight. Once the fight was on the ground he was content to stay in guard and half guard and land ground and pound. There wasn't much flash to this victory, but it is clear Dvalishvili will be problematic for many UFC bantamweights. He called out Sean O'Malley after the fight.
Headed to Moscow to face Terrion Ware
August 1, 2018
Dvalishvili will take on Terrion Ware in a bantamweight matchup at UFC Moscow on Sept. 15, reports.
Dvalishvili appears to have a slight edge heading into this one, especially in terms of his wrestling. A native of Tbilisi, Georgia, Dvalishvili has accumulated 17 takedowns in just two UFC fights, though both of them ended in defeat. He could just as easily be 1-1, however, as Dvalishvili was winning his last fight against Ricky Simon handily before getting choked out at the last possible second. His opponent has successfully defended less than half of the takedowns attempted on him over three UFC fights, so look for Dvalishvili to try and get this fight to the mat early and often. He'll enter with slight height and reach disadvantages, but should have the crowd's favor, in addition to a better striking differential and far superior takedown numbers.