Sean O’Malley calls for Merab Dvalishvili, who responds to the UFC champion’s 2025 timeline

It looks like Sean O'Malley has warmed up to the idea of fighting Merab Dvalishvili, sort of.

The UFC bantamweight champion took to X on Friday to say that he’s fighting Dvalishvili, who’s the clear No. 1 contender in the division. However, the champion mentioned 2025 as the year, which prompted a lot of feedback, including from Dvalishvili, who seemed to be more concerned about the spelling of his name than the proposed timeline.

“I WANT MARAB. 2025 will be legendary,” O’Malley wrote on X.

“I have been waiting for this callout for 7 years..but who is Marab???” Dvalishvili later replied on X. “Dude .. review my name lessons I gave Henry…MERAB! And guess you need another year to prepare for the machine.”

Both O’Malley (18-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) and Dvalishvili (17-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) recently fought and won.

Dvalishvili competed at UFC 298 in February when he defeated former champion Henry Cejudo in a unanimous decision. The victory extended Dvalishvili’s winning streak to 10 in a row.

On the other hand, O’Malley defended his UFC bantamweight title for the very first time this past Saturday in the main event of UFC 299 in Miami. He defeated Marlon Vera to avenge his only professional loss on his record. Dvalishvili was present for the event, as he was the back-up opponent for the title fight.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie