Merab Dvalishvili dominated Casey Kenney en route to a unanimous decision win, scoring 12 takedowns along the way.
Bantamweights Casey Kenney and Merab Dvalishvili threw down as part of Saturday’s UFC Rio Rancho, with Kenney looking to improve on a six-fight win streak that included two UFC outings. Georgia’s Dvalishvili was also looking to improve on his own win streak, which had seen him defeat Terrion Ware and TUF winner Brad Katona in his last two bouts.
Casey Kenney immediately put Merab on the outside and began advancing as this bout got underway. Merab was throwing a lot of leg kicks, and also a few spinning back fists. Both began trading kicks to the body, and Merab eventually shot for a takedown. Kenney would stay on his feet, but Merab was throwing much more than he was. Kenney threw a nice combination that landed and Merab got a big takedown. Kenney was scrambling to keep him off, but Merab wasn’t going anywhere. Merab slammed Kenney to the ground after walking around for a few seconds. However, Kenney quickly got up and went back to trading. Kenney landed a nice combination, and Merab got the fight into the clinch, which is where the round would end.
💥Big takedown by @MerabDvalishvil!
— UFC (@ufc) February 15, 2020
Round two opened with Kenney throwing a spinning back, and Merab countered with a spinning back fist of his own. Kenney landed a clean left hand as Merab was coming in, but Merab kept pushing the pace and moving forward. Merab shot for the takedown and backed Kenney up into the fence, but Kenney stuffed it. Merab landed a nice combination and Kenney countered with one of his own ended by a leg kick. Both threw spinning back fists that don’t even come close, and Merab got another takedown. Kenney got up, but Merab dragged him down. Kenney was getting worn down heading into the third round.
Merab opened the third with a clean right hand that landed, and he already had Kenney on his backfoot. Kenney began winging shots, and not much was landing on his advancing foe. Merab went for the takedown but slipped. Despite this, he somehow recovered and slammed Kenney down not much later. Kenney worked his way up to his feet, but not for long as Merab once again got the takedown. Kenney worked his way up again and was slammed again. Merab would soon get his 12th takedown of the fight and would get the back this time. The dominating performance would come to a close with Merab dropping down shots from the back.
What a dominating performance by Merab Dvalishvili.
Official Result: Merab Dvalishvili def. Casey Kenney by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 29-28)