After a dominant win over John Dodson, surging bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili has been paired up with Cody Stamann. The key 135lb bout is expected to go down on December 5, at an event yet to be officially announced by the UFC.
The Athletic’s Greg Rosenstein was first to report the news on Thursday.
Georgia’s Dvalishvili (12-4) has been at the forefront of a wave of fighters from the small Caucasus nation that have been punching above their weight. On a five-fight win streak, “The Machine” has dispatched Dodson, Terrion Ware, TUF 27 champ Brad Katona, Casey Kenney, and Gustavo Lopez.
A former Ring of Combat 135lb champion, Dvalishvili holds the record for takedowns in the bantamweight division — both in one fight, and overall — and trains alongside the likes of Aljamain Sterling at Serra-Longo MMA in New Jersey.
Cody Stamann (19-3-1) will be the man looking to stop those takedowns. Stamann was an NCAA Division II wrestler, so he knows what it’s all about. He’s fought twice during the pandemic, picking up a win over Brian Kelleher, then dropping a unanimous decision to Jimmie Rivera on Fight Island in July.
Both of those fights came at 145lbs for Stamann, however that was more a result of the pandemic, as both Kelleher and Rivera are normally bantamweights as well.
The UFC’s December 5 event is expected to feature top middleweights Jack Hermansson and Darren Till. It also boasts the retirement fight of former women’s bantamweight title challenger Bethe Correia.