UFC 266 has a promising bantamweight match-up lined up, which could see one fighter break through into the upper echelon of the division while another looks to defend his spot.
Brazil’s Marlon Moraes (23-8-1) will take on Georgian standout Merab Dvalishvili at the Pay-Per-View event, set to take place this September. Dvalishvili’s coach, Ray Longo, revealed the news on the Anik & Florian Podcast during his “The Ray Longo Minute” segment.
Just two years ago, Moraes was battling Henry Cejudo for the then-vacant bantamweight title. After coming up short in that fight, the former WSOF champion has gone 1-2, with his lone win coming in a controversial split decision against Jose Aldo — after which Aldo was actually awarded a title shot.
Dvalishvili is a fighter on a very different trajectory. “The Machine” has wrestled his way to six straight victories, a streak that includes names like John Dodson and Cody Stamann. Along the way, he broke his own bantamweight record for takedowns in a fight, and also set one for most takedowns in a year.
Moraes is currently ranked #6 at 135lbs. Dvalishvili is currently sitting in the #10 spot.
UFC 266, which takes place Saturday, September 4, 2021, does not yet have a venue or location announced. The card is expected to be headlined by light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz putting his title on the line against veteran Glover Teixeira. The card as reported to date looks as follows:
Jan Blachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira – for the UFC light heavyweight title
Manon Fiorot vs. Mayra Bueno Silva
Uros Medic vs. Jalin Turner
Jessica Andrade vs. Cynthia Calvillo
Merab Dvalishvili vs. Marlon Moraes