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Sean O’Malley: Merab Dvalishvili fight more exciting because people think he can’t be beat

It took a while for Merab Dvalishvili to get Sean O'Malley’s attention.

Dvalishvili (17-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) is on a 10-fight winning streak, most recently overwhelming former two-division champion Henry Cejudo at UFC 298. He was declared as No. 1 contender by UFC CEO Dana White.

UFC bantamweight champion O’Malley (17-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) was initially more interested in fighting featherweight champ Ilia Topuria, but has recently changed his tune on Dvalishvili. He commends him for his work in and out of the octagon.

“It reminded me of rewatching (Aljamain Sterling) vs. Henry,” O’Malley told Kevin Iole of Dvalishvili’s win over Cejudo. “I watched that live, rewatched it when I got home, and I was like, ‘I just seen openings. I seen holes. I seen opportunities that I could take advantage of and put lights out.’ Merab wasn’t a very exciting fight three, four fights ago because it’s decision, decision, decision, and that’s not that exciting until it is exciting – that no one can beat him.

“He has this crazy gas tank. He’s done a good job on his social media. He’s done a good job kind of building himself, and he’s beat Henry, he’s beat a bunch of guys. So that fight gets a little bit more exciting when people are saying he’s unbeatable. Three, four fights ago, people asked me about Merab, I was like, ‘He’s so boring.’ But now it’s kind of ‘No one can beat him’ type feel, so that fight is a little bit more interesting.”

O’Malley makes his first title defense in a rematch against Marlon Vera in the UFC 299 headliner March 9 at Kaseya Center in Miami.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 299.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie