LAS VEGAS – Roman Dolidze has competed in multiple weight classes throughout his professional career, and it is something he hopes to continue.
At UFC Fight Night 213 at UFC Apex, Dolidze (10-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) will step into the octagon as a middleweight to face Phil Hawes. The bout streams on ESPN+ and will serve as Dolidze’s fourth in the division, after competing in the light heavyweight division for his first two UFC appearances.
While he isn’t looking past a dangerous opponent in Hawes (12-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC), Dolidze has names in mind for potential future opponents in either division he has competed.
“Brazilian guy, he’s a very good jiu-jitsu guy – (Andre) Muniz,” Dolidze told MMA Junkie and other reporters at Wednesday’s pre-fight news conference. “Any top 15 fighter is good for me. I’m ready.
“Also, I mentioned, if they will give me, I’m ready to fight in 93 (kilograms), 205 (pounds). There is a guy who look like me, Paul Craig. He’s also good grappler. Also would be a very interesting fight for me.”
Muniz is currently ranked No. 10 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie middleweight rankings, whereas Craig is among the honorable mentions at light heavyweight.
The desire to compete in both weight classes simply comes down to staying more active. Saturday’s bout against Hawes will be Dolidze’s second of the calendar year, a pace he has fought at since joining the promotion in 2020.
After picking up a first-round TKO over Kyle Daukaus in June, Dolidze says he got in the ear of UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard, offering his services to compete in two weight classes.
“After my last fight, I talked to Mick, ‘Mick, give me fight faster, and I’m ready to fight if you want at 205,’” Dolidze said. “… When I’m preparing for 185, my normal weight is the same as when I was fighting 205. It’s not different at all, I’m the same weight. I’m not gaining, and I didn’t go down because I’m changing weight class. That’s why I think it will not be a big deal for me.”
Should he be successful against Hawes, Dolidze will be on a three-fight win streak, and wants to fight ranked opponents as quickly as possible.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 213.