Moment UFC fighter Merab Dvalishvili dives into a frozen lake

Icebreaker! Moment UFC fighter dives into frozen lake and cuts his head open – before returning for a ‘revenge match’

  • Merab Dvalishvili, 30, injured his face jumping head first into a frozen lake
  • The Georgian UFC fighter was training in Long Island for his next bout
  • Dvalisvili required several staples to the head  in hospital to stop the bleeding  

A martial arts fighter nicknamed ‘The Machine’ met his match when he dived head first into an ice-covered lake.

Merab Dvalishvili, 30, was training in a park in Long Island when he spontaneously decided to take an icy dip in a lake.

Footage from Wednesday shows the fighter plunging into the water, followed by a sickening thud as he cracks his head on the frozen surface and submerged tree branches.

He clambers out of the water clutching his skull as blood drips down his forehead, and has to go to the emergency room for hospital treatment. He returned to the lake yesterday, wearing a headguard and gloves to punch the ice in revenge. 

Merab Dvalishvili, 30, smashes headfirst into the icy surface of the lake in a Long Island park

The UFC fighter emerges from the frozen lake with blood pouring down his forehead


Dvalishvili, suffered cuts to his face and required the wounds stapled following a trip to hospital after diving head first through the ice

Dvalishvili, who is living and training in the United States, described his mishap as a ‘stupid prank’

‘I thought (it was) a great day to train and run in the park,’ explained the US-based bantamweight.

‘Then I saw a pond which I thought was snow and water. But it turned out to be all ice and tree branches sticking out.

‘As soon as I broke through the ice I felt my skin peeling off .’

He said the ‘most painful’ part was at hospital ‘when they stapled my skin back together’, adding: ‘it is all good now.’

Dvalishvili, who moved from the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia to the US to become a professional fighter, said later: ‘I made a mistake’. He called the escapade a ‘stupid accident’.

Dvalishvili later returned to the park – this time wearing a head protector and boxing gloves for a ‘revenge bout’ with his icy opponent

The fighter, from Georgia, was due to be in the Octagon this weekend but the fight was delayed as he needed additional time to recover from Covid-19 

He was also filmed the next day returning to the lake and punching the ice in a revenge ‘rematch’. 

This time he took the precaution of wearing a head guard and boxing gloves, and told his social media followers: ‘I’m not this crazy – enjoy round two. It’s just a joke.’ 

Dvalishvili is currently 12th in the UFC bantamweight rankings.

He has had won 12 of his 16 fights as a professional but his latest bout this weekend was cancelled as he was suffering the after effects of Covid-19. 

The cancelled bout was already put back since December as his opponent, Cody Stamann, had suffered a back injury. 

Dvalishvili currently fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship made famous by Conor McGregor. 

In UFC, Dvalishvili has won five of his seven bouts. 

Merab Dvalishvili has won 12 of his 16 professional fights and five of his seven fights with the UFC

Dvalishvili later gave fans a ‘thumbs up’ following his brief trip to the emergency room

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