Merab Dvalishvili Doubts Sean O’Malley Will Face Ilia Topuria Next

Merab Dvalishvili is pretty sure Sean O’Malley’s not jumping the line for a double-champ shot. Not before they clash, anyway.

So, Dvalishvili? He’s on a hot streak. Ten wins in a row, folks. Last month, he schooled Henry Cejudo at UFC 298. Everyone thought he’d be next for O’Malley. But nope, O’Malley had other plans, calling out Marlon Vera instead.

O’Malley’s defense against “Chito” Vera at UFC 299? Stellar. He avenged his only loss with flair on March 9. Dvalishvili, ringside, expected a shoutout. What he got instead was O’Malley eyeing a fight with featherweight champ Ilia Topuria. Talk about a curveball.

Ilia Topuria, though, isn’t biting. He’s told O’Malley to defend his title first, against Dvalishvili. “The Machine” is convinced the UFC won’t let O’Malley skip ahead.

Dvalishvili was baffled, to say the least. “What’s this guy doing?” he wondered aloud. It’s like, either keep quiet or call out someone you’ll actually fight. But a match with Ilia? Fresh off his own victory? Not happening. Dvalishvili was supposed to be the one fighting at UFC 299, but then O’Malley went for the No. 6 guy, Vera. Sure, fans wanted it, the UFC hyped it up. But now? It’s time for Dvalishvili’s shot.

And then there was the awkward backstage encounter post-UFC 299. O’Malley, mistaking Dvalishvili for a fan, brushed him off. Dvalishvili tried to congratulate him, only to be snubbed. “Bro, you should mention my name,” he said. O’Malley’s response? He claimed ignorance of Dvalishvili’s identity. Not the classiest move, according to Dvalishvili.

This whole saga even made it to ESPN MMA’s Twitter. A video of their backstage meetup went up, sparking all sorts of reactions. The drama, the tension, it’s all there. And it’s clear, this feud? It’s far from over.

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