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UFC Vegas 25: Merab Dvalishvili vs Cody Stamann Preview and Prediction

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We are back at the UFC APEX this weekend for UFC Vegas 25. Headlining the card will be a light heavyweight battle between Dominick Reyes and Jiri Prochazka, in a fight sure to deliver fireworks. However, we also have a war scheduled between two top-fifteen-ranked bantamweights, as Merab Dvalishvili will square off with Cody Stamann.

It will be a very interesting stylistic clash with Dvalishvili vs Stamann and there are big implications for whoever comes out of this victorious. Join us as we take a look into each fighter’s career and what we can expect from this bantamweight bout!

Dvalishvili vs Stamann: Meet the Fighters

Merab “The Machine” Dvalishvili

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 15: Merab Dvalishvili of Georgia reacts after his decision victory over John Dodson in their bantamweight bout during the UFC 252 event at UFC APEX on August 15, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

“The Machine” is a well-fitted nickname for Merab Dvalishvili considering in just seven UFC bouts, he has landed a whopping 54 takedowns. An absolute grinder, who will suck the will out of any opponent he faces. With a record of 12-4 (5-2 in UFC), Merab has quickly worked his way up to number twelve in the bantamweight division, looking to secure the biggest win of his career at UFC Vegas 25.

Arriving in the UFC in 2017, Merab would find early struggles within the promotion, starting 0-2, which included a submission loss to Ricky Simon. However, since then, Merab has been on a tear, rallying off five straight wins. While none have been finishes, nearly all have been nothing short of pure dominance. 

The ladder three wins of this streak include names such as Casey Kenney, Gustavo Lopez, and most recently, a former flyweight title contender, John Dodson. Merab looks to suffocate his opponents with his immense grappling pressure, a similar pace as we saw out of Khabib Nurmagomedov for so many years. While the ground and pound and submission game may not be at the same level as The Eagle, Merab definitely has plenty of similarities.

Training out of the Serra-Longo gym in Long Island, Dvalishvili is constantly surrounded by great fighters, including the champion of his own division, Aljamain Sterling. Now back in the octagon for the first time since August of last year, a big-name opponent in Cody Stamann will be waiting across the cage from Merab. Another impressive performance here from Dvalishvili and we will be hearing his name mentioned with the elite of this weight class in no time.

Cody “The Spartan” Stamann

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 06: Cody Stamman celebrates after his victory over Brian Kelleher in their featherweight bout during the UFC 250 event at UFC APEX on June 06, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Cody Stamann is coming into UFC Vegas 25 looking to right the ship and get back to his winning ways after losing his last outing. Holding a record of 19-3-1 (5-2-1 in UFC), Stamann has been in there with some incredible fighters already during his first four years with the organization. Unlike his counterpart, Cody started red hot in the UFC racking up three straight wins, including formerly ranked opponent Bryan Caraway

His potential would be quickly recognized and matched up accordingly in his next bout with his toughest opponent. Stamann found himself up against the aforementioned training partner of Merab and current Bantamweight Champion, Aljamain Sterling. Like many others have against Sterling, Cody would face defeat, losing via submission. Stamann would bounce back and go unbeaten in his next three fights with wins over Alejandro Perez and Brian Kelleher, the ladder coming just days after Cody’s brother tragically passed away. In this performance, we saw Cody leave it all in the cage and the pure emotion following the big win was something you see in the movies. 

He would be rewarded after this win with his highest-ranked opponent in Jimmie Rivera. While Stamann would lose this fight, he showed he can hang with the division’s elite and will now face another tough task this weekend. Merab is sure to test Stamann at UFC Vegas 25 and should he pass with flying colors, a top-ten ranked opponent will be waiting on Cody in his next fight. 

Dvalishvili vs Stamann Fight Breakdown

The grappling is going to play the biggest factor in Dvalishvili vs Stamann. This is because of how elite Merab is on the ground, but also because Stamann is no slouch in this area either. However, the advantage will still lean toward Dvalishvili, and mainly due to the amount of pressure he puts on his opponents from the opening bell.

If Cody can weather this storm and allow himself to set the pace of this fight, it could go a very long way. Stamann should look to keep this fight standing to the best of his ability and he will definitely hold the advantage with the power he carries in both hands. As previously mentioned, he can definitely hold his own in the grappling exchanges, it’s just a matter of if he can match the same pressure and fight to get up off of his back.

Look for this to be a competitive bout due to the warrior that Stamann is. However, Merab is a different beast and this will likely result in a win for him. The grappling, mixed with high output and relentless takedown attacks will be too much and eventually overwhelm Cody. Dvalishvili will grind this one out over the course of three rounds as we have seen for five straight victories, and this same formula will provide number six in a row after a hard-fought battle.

Dvalishvili vs Stamann Prediction: Merab Dvalishvili via Decision

Let us know your predictions for Dvalishvili vs Stamann in the comments below!


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Dominic Sallee is a Combat Sports writer. He focuses primarily on the UFC, with plans to venture out with pieces from other MMA organizations in the future. Along with writing, Dominic is also the Co-Host of the Below Average Joe's MMA Podcast, which produces 2-3 new episodes per week about all things in the MMA community!