Merab Dvalishvili Set as UFC 299 Backup Weeks After UFC 298 Win

Merab Dvalishvili, UFC
Merab Dvalishvili, UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili is nothing if not game, and he has accepted the backup role for the UFC 299 main event mere weeks after his most recent win.

Dvalishvili (17-4) defeated ex-champ Henry Cejudo in another dominant showing at UFC 298 in Anaheim, just over two weeks ago. The victory extended the win streak of “The Machine” to ten straight. That includes Merab seeing his hand raised over the likes of ex-champs Petr Yan and Jose Aldo, among others.

That is almost certainly a good enough resume for Georgia’s Dvalishvili to earn himself a title shot. Something that can now come to pass with good friend and training partner Aljamain Sterling dethroned and leaving the weight class for featherweight.

The pair had steadfastly refused to fight each other while Sterling remained champ. Sean O’Malley, who fights Marlon “Chito” Vera in the main event of UFC 299, defeated Sterling last year to claim bantamweight gold.

CBS Sports was among the outlets first reporting Merab Dvalishvili’s involvement in UFC 299 on Tuesday. The fighter’s management team, KO Reps, later confirmed the news.

UFC 299 takes place Saturday, March 9, 2024 at the Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida. The following match-ups are expected to take place at the event:

  • Sean O’Malley (c) vs. Marlon Vera — for the UFC bantamweight championship
  • Dustin Poirier vs. Benoît Saint Denis
  • Kevin Holland vs. Michael Page
  • Gilbert Burns vs. Jack Della Maddalena
  • Petr Yan vs. Song Yadong
  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Jailton Almeida
  • Katlyn Cerminara vs. Maycee Barber
  • Mateusz Gamrot vs. Rafael dos Anjos
  • Pedro Munhoz vs. Kyler Phillips
  • Ion Cuțelaba vs. Philipe Lins
  • Michel Pereira vs. Michał Oleksiejczuk
  • Robelis Despaigne vs. Josh Parisian
  • C.J. Vergara vs. Assu Almabayev
  • Joanne Wood vs. Maryna Moroz