Roman Dolidze Says Short-Notice UFC 303 Fight Motivated By Opponents Dropping Out

Las Vegas — Roman Dolidze has stepped into a sizable short-notice opportunity at UFC 303, where he replaces Carlos Ulberg, who himself replaced Khalil Rountree Jr., who had been expected to fight Jamahal Hill, who was also forced out, and replaced by Smith- who Dolidze will fight.

Got all that?

It’s a move up to light heavyweight for Georgia’s Dolidzle (12-3), and the decision was made in part because of all the pull-outs he’s experienced himself.

“How many times have my opponents pulled out? This time I thought, he doesn’t have time to pull out. That’s why I agreed, and I’m here,” said Dolidze, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press during Wednesday’s UFC 303 media day.

Later, he’s open up about the struggles he’s had with fights falling apart. “I think the main thing is, I will step into the octagon, and the fight will go [ahead]. Because the last couple years, my opponents are pulling out, out of nowhere. I’m coming to Las Vegas, staying here for one, two, three months. They’re changing like three, two opponents, in the end I’m going home without fighting.”

“This time was good,” added Dolidze, who since 2021 has seen seven fights fall through, including one in June against Anthony Hernandez, plus a rumored bout with Michel Pereira.

As for how he’s approaching a short-notice scrap with “Lionheart” Smith, “my game plan is just go there and fight.”

As far as moving up in weight – he may just juggle both 185 and 205lbs moving forward – Dolidze found a lot of positive. “It’s such a big change, when I can wake up and eat breakfast. I don’t need to drink so much water, and I don’t need to cut so much weight. That’s why it’s a big difference.”

Watch the full UFC 303 media day appearance by Roman Dolidze above.