With UFC 285 just in the wraps, another huge event awaits MMA fans this coming weekend as top UFC bantamweights Petr ‘No Mercy’ Yan and Merab ‘The Machine’ Dvalishvili battle it out in the main event. The fight card will take place at The Theatre, Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas on March 11.
Yan’s last fight at UFC 280 was a controversial decision, with many, if not most insinuating that Petr won the fight. Merab last locked horns with Jose Aldo at UFC 278 in a lackluster performance. While ‘No Mercy’ is coming off of a loss, this bout is evened out as Merab also ‘didn’t show much’ during his last Octagon outing.
Your official Yan 🆚 Dvalishvili poster has dropped 🎨
What a fight this is going to be! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/CQli7rLR9g
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) March 2, 2023
This bout is very crucial, considering the current stage of the bantamweight division, helmed by the reigning champion Aljamain Sterling. The card is stacked and the other fights shouldn’t be overlooked. Heavyweight fighter Alexander Volkov will throw down against Alexandr Romanov in the co-main. Finally, fans will also get Nikita Krylov vs. Ryan Spann, a bout that was canceled 2 weeks ago.
UFC Las Vegas: Petr Yan vs Merab Dvalishvili, Stats
|Stats||Petr Yan||Merab Dvalishvili|
|Height||1.70 m||1.67 m|
|Reach||170.1 cm||172.7 cm|
Yan vs Dvalishvili: Fight Breakdown
Petr Yan used to once sit on the bantamweight throne, after running through the division’s who’s who. The Russian captured gold at UFC 251 after defeating Jose Aldo via TKO in the 5th round. However, Yan is currently on a two-fight losing streak, with his most recent loss coming at the hands of fan-favorite Sean O’Malley.
Petr has shared the Octagon twice with the current champion Aljamain. Both fights gave something to the fans to talk about. The first one ended up in a disqualification for Petr, resulting in the belt being handed over to Aljamain. However, in the rematch, Sterling bested Petr on the ground and outwrestled him for a major portion of the fight.
Merab, a Georgia native, has been a ‘takedown machine’ in the UFC. He has scored a total number of 54 takedowns in just his first 7 fights with the promotion. This isn’t good news for Yan, as he has shown tremendous weakness whenever he faces a wrestler in his opponent.
One thing that people might forget is that Merab is really good friends with and a training partner of Aljamain. Thus, it goes without saying that Sterling will help the 32-year-old closely, especially after having shared the cage with Petr twice. Assuming Yan comes into this fight with drastic improvement in his takedown defense, he can give Merab a tough time.
Fans saw Merab not having much luck against Aldo when he tried to stand and trade against him, which is why he wrestled him for the rest of the fight. So if Petr can stuff his takedowns and scramble out of the barrage of wrestling Merab is planning to put on him, he can win this fight fairly easily, as he still remains one of the best strikers on the roster. Yan is coming in as a favorite for the fight.