Merab Dvalishvili won’t be sidelined very long after undergoing surgery to repair damage to his hand.
The Georgian fighter, who’s rattled off nine consecutive UFC wins, recently went under the knife, but he’s already on the mend. He recently posted a video showing him taking down teammates while wearing a cast on his hand.
According to Dvalishvili’s manager, Oren Hodak from KO Reps, the 32-year-old bantamweight will spend the next six to eight weeks in a splint as he begins his recovery. Once the fusion in his hand has healed, he can start working out again with full punching likely allowed 10 to 12 weeks after surgery.
It’s a minor delay in Dvalishvili’s career, which has flourished recently as he’s climbed the bantamweight ladder. The veteran bantamweight hopes to earn a title shot in the near future.
After beating UFC legend Jose Aldo in what was the ex-champ’s final MMA fight, Dvalishvili put on a five-round masterclass to beat ex-bantamweight champion Petr Yan by unanimous decision in March. In the wake of that victory, Dvalishvili entertained a possible showdown with Henry Cejudo, who recently lost to reigning UFC bantamweight king Aljamain Sterling at UFC 288 in May.
Dvalishvili has declared he will never face Sterling, his teammate and close friend. But he welcomes the chance to clash with Cejudo. Given the timing of his injury and Sterling’s scheduled fight with Sean O’Malley at UFC 292, the matchup seems likely.
For now, Dvalishvili will continue rehabilitating his hand as he plots the course for his next fight later in 2023.