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The third time is the charm, they say.
On Wednesday morning, MMA Junkie reported that Merab Dvalishvili and Cody Stamann are set to clash in a bantamweight affair on the UFC Fight Night card that will go down on May 1. The pair should have already locked horns at UFC on ESPN 19, but Stamann pulled out due to undisclosed reasons a few days after the matchup was announced. The clash between “The Machine” and “The Spartan” was rescheduled for UFC Fight Night 184, but Dvalishvili withdrew due to COVID-19 complications before they could meet in the cage.
Dvalishvili (12-4, 5-2 UFC) is riding a five-fight winning streak into his upcoming assignment. In his latest Octagon appearance, he upended “The Ultimate Fighter 14” winner John Dodson in a three-round bantamweight feature at UFC 252. Prior, “The Machine” recorded similar decision victories over Gustavo Lopez and Casey Kenney, among the others.
Stamann (19-3-1, 5-2-1 UFC) will look to bounce back on track after being outpointed by former Cage Fury Fighting Championships, King of the Cage and Ring of Combat titleholder Jimmie Rivera at UFC on ESPN 13. Before that, he hadn’t lost in nearly two years and scored victories over Brian Kelleher and Alejandro Perez, in addition to fighting Yadong Song to a majority draw at UFC on ESPN 7.
The UFC Fight Night event on May 1 will be headlined by a light heavyweight clash as former Rizin Fighting Federation champion Jiri Prochazka will take on Dominick Reyes. The card will also feature Cub Swanson vs. Giga Chikadze in a 145-pound affair, and a heavyweight battle between Augusto Sakai and Shamil Abdurakhimov.