Merab Dvalishvili explains how previous KO loss made him a smarter fighter: “I’m not going to chase the finish”

By Harry Kettle - June 13, 2024

UFC contender Merab Dvalishvili has explained how a previous defeat in the Octagon actually made him smarter as a fighter.

Merab Dvalishvili

As we know, Merab Dvalishvili is one of the top bantamweight in the world right now. He’s been able to turn back a parade of top fighters, and now, he looks set to challenge for the UFC belt. When he does, he’ll more than likely be battling current champion Sean O’Malley.

RELATED: Sean O’Malley and Aljamain Sterling reignite rivalry ahead of Merab Dvalishvili title fight: “Keep bragging about a handicapped fight”

Both men have suffered setbacks in their career and that goes without saying. For Dvalishvili, it’s been a while since he’s been on the wrong end of a result – but he still remembers the lessons it taught him.

During a recent interview, he spoke candidly about a collision he had with Ricky Simon.

Dvalishvili’s lesson

“My second fight, I was (fighting a) very tough guy Ricky Simon,” Dvalishvili said on “Bradley Martyn’s Raw Talk.” “He was good everywhere, and I was trying to finish him and then I was going, and going, and punching him, and then I even dropped him, (tried to) knock him out. I tried some submission. Nothing was working, but I was winning the fight. It was one minute left and I take him down, I make the decision that I’m going to take him down and finish on top. And when I lift and when I jump, I hit my head to the floor.

“I knocked myself out, and at that time, he grabbed my neck and tried to choke me out on top. I don’t tap. I don’t sleep. I was still fighting, but referee say, ‘Oh, he was in and out (of consciousness).’ They give him technical TKO or something. After that, I make decision, like, you know what? I’m going to take people down and I’m going to have fun with it. I’m not going to chase the finish, and I’m not going to risk. After that, I became more smart fighter. Before, I used to be wild. But now, I play with my opponents.”

Quotes via MMA Junkie

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