Roman Dolidze Expects Ranking in Two Divisions Following UFC 303

Las Vegas — UFC middleweight Roman Dolidze started his run with the promotion at 205lbs before dropping down a division, so perhaps it wasn’t too much of a surprise to see him back at light heavyweight at UFC 303.

That said, Dolidze (13-3), a hard-hitting Georgian who is actually undefeated as a 205’er inside and out of the UFC, is taking his return to the division as a massive opportunity. After defeating former title challenger Anthony Smith by decision on Saturday, Doldize believes he’ll be ranked in both weight classes, giving him plenty of options.

“I’m happy to win. it’s important that I’m now ranked in two weight classes, I have more options to fight,” he told media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight. “If somebody pulls out next time like always happens with me, I can fight somebody at 205. That’s a good feeling.”

Asked whether he expected to have a speed advantage in the fight with “Lionheart,” as he appeared to early on, “You never know,” Dolidze replied. “He’s a very good fighter, very good person,” he continued. “And also he’s very experienced. That’s why I respect him, everything about him. But I was ready for anything that he can offer.”

Which is why, moments later, Dolidze noted that nothing about what Smith brought had surprised him.

“Nothing. Nothing surprised me, I knew that he’s a tough guy. When he fell down after my punch, I wanted to finish him, but I felt that listen, it’s short notice, I’m losing too much energy, and I’m a little bit sapped. I didn’t want to gas out, because I thought that he’s a tough guy, and probably it will go all three rounds.”

As for juggling both divisions, which appears to be the plan, Roman Dolidze noted that “UFC, first thing that they told me was ‘listen, we don’t want to you leave 185.'”

Dolidze offered to fight in both weight classes, which is why he believes the offer to do 205 came.

Admitting that he fought with a torn chest muscle in a past fight, Dolidze, 35, added that he knows he doesn’t have much time to fight. With that in mind, when does he want to fight next? “Realistically, when realistically UFC will give me [my] next fight.” Hopefully soon, in other words.

Watch the full UFC 303 post-fight press conference with Roman Dolidze above.