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Merab Dvalishvili Speaks Out: Why Rushing Umar Nurmagomedov to UFC Title Shot is 'Very Disrespectful'


Merab doesnt rate Nurmagomedov as title worthy opponent
Merab Dvalishvili (left), Umar Nurmagomedov (right)

In the fast-paced world of UFC, where every victory can propel a fighter into the spotlight, Merab Dvalishvili raises a poignant question: Is Umar Nurmagomedov truly ready for a shot at the bantamweight title?


Fresh off his dominant win against newcomer Bekzat Almakhan at UFC Fight Night 238, Nurmagomedov wasted no time in calling for a rescheduled bout with Cory Sandhagen, a matchup previously scrapped. However, Dvalishvili, riding high on a remarkable 10-fight winning streak, believes Nurmagomedov's ascent to title contention is premature.


"There is a guy from Dagestan, he’s a good fighter, but he fight nobody," Dvalishvili expressed to MMA Junkie. "He fought somebody from debut, and now he wants to fight for the belt. It’s not how it works. I think it’s very disrespectful."


Dvalishvili's sentiments stem from a belief in the traditional path to championship glory—a path he has traversed. He advocates for Nurmagomedov to climb the ranks, facing increasingly formidable opponents along the way, rather than leapfrogging into title conversations.


The Georgian fighter, who earned the title of No. 1 contender after his victory over former two-division champion Henry Cejudo, acknowledges Nurmagomedov's undefeated record but questions the quality of his opposition. 


"Who knows if you’re a good fighter or no? You haven’t been tested yet," Dvalishvili remarked. "You fought a debut guy. Come on."


In a sport where respect is earned through blood, sweat, and sacrifice, Dvalishvili's stance underscores the importance of proving oneself against worthy adversaries before vying for championship gold. 


As the debate rages on, one thing remains clear: rushing Nurmagomedov's ascent to the title may indeed be a disservice to both him and the sport.


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