An intriguing bantamweight clash between exciting division contenders, Merab ‘The Machine’ Dvalishvili and Raoni Barcelos has been booked for UFC Vegas 16 on December 5th. – from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Georgian ace, Dvalishvili was initially booked to meet with Cody ‘The Spartan’ Stamann at the event, until the latter withdrew from the contest due to undisclosed reasons.
Riding a five-fight winning run, the Tiblisi native has scored three victories this annum alone, taking unanimous decision wins against Casey Kenney, Gustavo Lopez, and former two-time flyweight title challenger, John Dodson.
Making his Octagon return at UFC Vegas 13 last weekend, streaking finisher, Barcelos has won his last nine on the trot – taking home an eye-catching unanimous judging win over Khalid Taha at the UFC Apex. News of the high-stakes pairing was first reported by Jon Anik and Kenny Florian on the Anik and Florian podcast.
Matt Serra and Ray Longo fight team mainstay, Dvalishvili holds a 12-4 professional record, with his only notable defeats coming against Bellator talent, Ricky Bandejas, as well as two contentious Octagon losses to Frankie Saenz and Ricky Simón.
Unbeaten since his controversial blemish to Simón – Dvalishvili managed to score other wins over Terion Ware and Brad Katona before his most recent trio of triumphs consecutively.
Barcelos, a former RFA featherweight champion has been largely unfazed since his move to the UFC back in July of 2018.
The 33-year-old Rio de Janeiro knockout artist has finished eight of his opponents via strikes, including Kurt Holobaugh and Carlos Hauchin, as well as a rear-naked choke victory over Chris Gutiérrez. Prior to his decision win over Taha, Barcelos had bested Said Nurmagomedov.