A bantamweight matchup between two-time UFC flyweight title challenger, John ‘The Magician’ Dodson, and surging 135-pound contender, Merab Dvalishvili is set to feature at UFC 252 on August 15th. – from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jackson-Wink MMA mainstay, Dodson – returned to winning ways in his last outing, scoring an eye-catching knockout win over uber-prospect, Nathaniel Wood at UFC Fight Night Rio Rancho in February. Georgian grappler, Dvalishvili faced former Comabate Americas bantamweight best, Gustavo Lopez on short-notice at UFC Fight Night Vegas in June – scoring a comfortable unanimous judging win. News of the pairing was initially reported by MMA Junkie trio, Nolan King, Farah Hannoun, and John Morgan.
Prior to his shocking win over Wood, Albequerque native, Dodson dropped decision defeats to recent bantamweight title winner, Petr Yan, and perennial contender, Jimmie Rivera. The 35-year-old holds notable Octagon triumphs over the likes of Tim Elliott, Jussier Formiga, Eddie Wineland, Pedro Munhoz, John Moraga (x2), Manvel Gamburyan, as well as former two-time 135-pound best, T.J. Dillashaw where he claimed The Ultimate Fighter 14 crown.
Beginning his UFC stint with two controversial defeats to Frankie Saenz, and Ricky Simon – Serra-Longo Fight Team trainee, Dvalishvili has scored wins over Terion Ware, Brad Katona, Casey Kenney, and the aforenoted, Lopez since. The 29-year-old Judo black belt claimed the #15 rank in the official bantamweight pile off the back of his most recent victory in June.