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UFC 252 results: Merab Dvalishvili extends winning streak with decision over John Dodson

to kick off the UFC 252 - ‘MIOCIC VS. CORMIER 3 main card.

The opening bout of the UFC 252 main card saw rising Georgian bantamweight contender Merab Dvalishvili unable to hold John Dodson down with his wrestling and grappling, but his striking and clinch control combined with Dodson’s continued issues with volume led to a shutout decision win for the Serra-Longo fighter. It’s five straight victories for Dvalishvili and Dodson is unable to build off of the victory over Nathaniel Wood from February.

There was plenty of feinting and not a whole lot of throwing in the first minute, apart from a straight left to the body by Dvalishvili. Merab shot in for the first takedown of the bout and didn’t complete it but did land plenty of hard knees and kicks to the calves while still trying to set up trips. Dvalishvili still had control of Dodson’s wrists for a long period of time until Dodson broke free in the final minute, but not before getting hit with a punch. It was a clear round for the Georgian as Dodson barely mounted any offense.

Dodson got in a couple of body shots and low kicks early in round two. Dvalishvili literally picked Dodson up and still didn’t complete the takedown because the slam failed and there was no control time. Dvaslishvili caught Dodson with a spinning backfist and a big right hand and continued to go for takedowns. He did eventually get one and then Dodson instantly stood back up, but the offense was still in Merab’s favor.

To start round three, Dvalishvili let out some sort of primal scream after touching gloves with Dodson. John got cracked by a straight right and then another one before he stuffed another takedown despite being lifted. An inside leg kick got Merab’s attention but it was otherwise Dodson’s offense was few and far between. A hard left hand didn’t even bother Merab, who responded with a right hand and a leg kick. Dodson ran straight into a big counter right hand and that was one of the most telling blows of the feet. Dvalishvili continued to push for the takedown but holding Dodson down seemed a near impossibility. Nevertheless, Dvalishvili’s better than advertised striking and quality clinch work saw him get the nod on the scorecards.

Official result: Merab Dvalishvili def. John Dodson by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)