Merab Dvalishvili Beats Henry Cejudo By Unanimous Decision At UFC 298

Merab Dvalishvili was able to earn a convincing decision victory over former double-champ Henry Cejudo tonight at UFC 298 to book a bantamweight title shot.

Round One:

Calf kick for Cejudo. Spinning head kick attempt from Dvalishvili misses. He tries that again, but still out of range.

Calf kick for Dvalishvili. Now a right hand. Cejudo ducks and throws a punch but misses. He does land a low kick though. Dvalishvili with a couple of low kicks.

Dvalishvili throws a punch, but Cejudo responds with a big left hook that stuns him. He recovers quickly though. Cejudo lands another nice hook.

Low kick for Dvalishvili. Missed punch from Cejudo and Dvalishvili goes in on a single-leg and does well to land it against the Olympian.

Dvalishvili trying to keep Cejudo in the center of the Octagon, but it’s not long before Cejudo drives back to his feet.

Punch from Dvalishvili seems to hurt Cejudo, but as Dvalishvili drives in looking for a potential takedown Cejudo manages to roll on top and is now in half-guard in the center of the Octagon.

A couple of punches for Cejudo and then goes around to the back as Dvalishvili is trying to scramble back to his feet. Dvalishvili does work back upright now and walks over to the cage as Cejudo is clinched to his back.

Dvalishvili turns into him and they both throw punches. Big knee to the body from Cejudo as they break apart.

Round Two:

Dvalishvili feeling out with punches but not getting into range to land them. Quick jab from Cejudo,. They exchange low kicks.

Cejudo in on a takedown and though he doesn’t get it he switches around to the back. Dvalishvili able to get away though.

Overhand right from Dvalishvili as he fires off a few strikes. left hand for Cejudo. Hook lands for Dvalishvili and that must have hurt, but he wears it well.

left hand for Dvalishvili and then a body kick. Dvalishvili in on a single-leg attempt now and goes for the trip to finish it. Cejudo gets to his knees and crawls towards the cage. Dvalishvili with a body lock though as Cejudo stands.

Dvalishvili tries to hoist him into the air but can’t get him down at first, so readjusts and gets him to the mat again at the second attempt.

Cejudo able to stand and eats a body kick. Dvalishvili looking to continue applying pressure. Cejudo in on a single-leg attempt, but it doesn’t quite work out and now Dvalishvili threatens with a guillotine. Cejudo on his knees and Dvalishvili really starts to work the choke, while at the same time he’s smiling, nodding his head and talking to Mark Zuckerberg outside the cage, who is loving it! Cejudo staying calm though and makes it through the final few seconds of the round.

Round Three:

Leg kick for Cejudo. Missed spinning kick from Dvalishvili. Right hand for Cejudo. Another low kick for Cejudo. He throws a punch and Dvalishvili goes for a body kick.

One-two for Dvalishvili and then in on a single-leg. Cejudo stays up, but Dvalishvili moves to his back and drives him against the cage while landing repeated knees to the back of the leg. He throws a few knees too.

Cejudo manages to get away. He lands a low kick. Dvalishvili in on another takedown, but Cejudo defends it.

Low kick for Cejudo. Front kick to the body for Dvalishvili. Glancing one-two for Dvalishvili. Leg kick for Cejudo. Right hand for Dvalishvili. Now a right hook from him.

Dvalishvili drives into a takedown, then hoists Cejudo up onto is shoulder and walks him the length of the Octagon and dumps him to the canvas. Now he gets on top and continues to work. Impressive work against a former Olympic gold medalist.

Cejudo able to get back. Dvalishvili still grinding though as he works him over the cage and brings him to his knees. Cejudo stands and Dvalishvilicontinues to pressure relentlessly.

In the center of the Octagon Cejudo tries for a single-leg attempt but Dvalishvili won’t go down and balances on one leg. Demoralizing for Cejudo and as he lets go Dvalishvili grins and celebrates, then stays just out of range as Cejudo tries to get some payback with a couple of punches.


No doubt that Dvalishvili made the judges job easy with that dominant final round and he rightly earns a unanimous decision victory (29-28 x3) that appears to have at long last secured his bantamweight title shot. On the other hand Cejudo’s pre-fight comments had suggested that a loss would likely send him back into retirement.

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