Merab Dvalishvili brings his country’s fighting spirit to ROC 58
Most kids in the U.S. will take self defense classes as kids by choice or at their parents request. Reasons can be from defending themselves from bullies, staying fit / active, competitive nature, or a whole slew of other reasons. One reason that is most likely not on that list is in case the United States ever gets invaded by another country. A reason all too familiar for ROC 58’s Merab Dvalishvili (5-2).
Dvalishvili grew up in Tbilisi, Georgia, a country at the intersection of Europe and Asia, and a former Soviet Republic. Growing up as a kid, Dvalishvili had to learn to defend himself in a hurry and for good reason. “Georgia has a fighting history,” Dvalishvili said. “Bigger countries are always trying to take over our small nice country. We have learned to always defend ourselves,” he continued. Most kids, including Dvalishvili, start programs such as qartuli chidaoba (traditional wrestling) and khridoli (traditional fighting). Learning judo and sambo were next on his martial arts hit list. Taking such a liking to these fighting traditions, the Georgia native new he had found his passion and his goal for a career.
After coming to the United States, he won his first amateur title in his very first sanctioned fight. Now living in Long Island and training under two of the most famous coaches in all of mixed martial arts, Ray Longo (striking) and Matt Serra (jiu-jitsu), Dvalishvili has all the pieces in play for him to pick up gold before jumping to big scene, the UFC.
Merab Dvalishvili will meet Sukhrob Aydarbekov (2-2) for the Ring of Combat National Bantamweight Title at ROC 58.
“With this upcoming fight, my coach Ray Longo is pushing to help me exceed my limits in cardio and striking,” said Dvalishvili. “However, if fighting for a title or not, I am always training my best to be prepared for any fight,” he continued.
As shown many times in the past, winning a ROC title is a good step towards achieving the goal of competing in the UFC, so Dvalishvili is not taking any chances in training and preparation. “My next opponent is a good striking fighter but I am training hard, sparring with UFC fighters in preparation and I am fighting now at my best,” said Dvalishvili.
Fight fans can expect an exciting bout when Dvalishvili steps into the cage at ROC 58, “Everything is focused on this fight,” said Dvalishvili. “Fans who come to fight night can expect a real fight not just a grappling or wrestling match,” he continued.
When asked who he’d like to thank for his upcoming bout, Dvalishvili held nothing back.
“I am very appreciative of my team who is like family and all the support they give me especially my coaches Ray Longo , Matt Serra, Pete Sell, and Chris Weidman . I am also grateful to my friends who are training and sparring with me Al Iaquinta, Aljamain Sterling, James Jenkins, Patrick Defranco, James Gonzales and Anthony Genovese,” Said Dvalishvili. “I also want to thank my family and fans and friends from my home Georgia,” he finished.
Merab Dvalishvili will take on Sukhrob Aydarbekov for the ROC National Bantamweight Title at ROC 58 and is one of four title fights Friday, February 24 at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Tickets are available online, the Tropicana box office or any TicketMaster outlet. ROC events have a history of selling out so get your tickets today!