The former UFC bantamweight champion returns as Petr Yan looks to snap his skid against the surging Merab Dvalishvili. The UFC lines support Yan widely as he should neutralize Dvalishvili’s repetitive wrestling tactics and win a much-needed fight.
Dvalishvili is also Aljamain Sterling’s training partner, which makes this a bit of a grudge match given all the trash talk the two have traded over time.
Yan Will Remind Everyone
For a time, Yan was considered the best bantamweight on the planet and a top-three pound-for-pound fighter. But following two consecutive defeats, albeit both controversial, Yan has to work his way back to the top. Beating Dvalishvili, a winner of eight straight, should do just that.
Petr embraces his nickname “No Mercy” as he puts an ungodly amount of punishment on Aldo with ground and pound, until finally the referee pulls him off, Petr Yan is the new Bantamweight Champion pic.twitter.com/xUHyGBLZt5
— The Patrick McCorry Sports Show (@Patrick_McCorry) February 20, 2023
Yan has stayed out of the UFC news but the “real ones” know he’s still arguably the best fighter in the division. The Russian has brilliant striking and strong wrestling. Most will remember how Sterling won by constantly taking his back. But Yan fought recklessly and out of character. A more composed Yan will pick apart any fighter he meets.
There is a reason Yan is always favored on the UFC betting odds. He has a few weaknesses. And as prolific as Dvalishvili is, he does not bring anything that Yan has not seen. Still, Yan’s backers should monitor how he behaves heading into the fight. Dvalishvili will look to get into his head. If Yan stays unflappable, he’s the right bet online.
Dvalishvili is Best Takedown Spammer
“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” Why should Dvalishvili change his takedown-heavy approach to fighting? It’s one of the most boring and exploitative in the sport, but it gets the job done. Dvalishvili lands more takedowns per 15 minutes (6.54) than he does significant strikes per minute (4.21). It’s also why he absorbs just 2.31 significant strikes per minute.
The Georgian has landed four or more takedowns in eight of his 10 UFC fights. He even landed 25 in the span of two bouts. And even if he fails to land any, as he did against Jose Aldo, he was able to keep the former champion from doing any damage. Even if the crowd detests it, Dvalishvili’s backers will continue to strike it rich if he can keep it up.
Sterling already provided the blueprint for beating Yan and as one of his closest training partners, the underdog can look to replicate. But it may take more than spamming takedowns to take out Yan.
Yan vs Dvalishvili Head-to-Head
Yan and Dvalishvili are similar to each other physically. The former is an inch taller (5-foot-7 but the latter has an inch more in reach (68 inches). The favorite is also two years younger and fights with a switch stance to Dvalishvili’s orthodox.
Yan vs Dvalishvili Fight Information
- Fighters: Yan (16-4-0) vs Dvalishvili (15-4-0)
- Location: The Theater at Virgin Hotels, Las Vegas, NV
- Day/Time: Saturday, March 11, 6 p.m. ET
- Yan vs Dvalishvili Live Stream: UFC Fight Pass
Yan vs Dvalishvili Betting Lines
Yan vs Dvalishvili Picks and Prediction
As far as the UFC picks are concerned, Yan should beat Dvalishvili here. His line is a bit wide, but he will be the one doing more damage. Simply abusing takedown attempts and landing them won’t win Dvalishvili points. The best UFC bet here lies in the totals, however. This one should go all five rounds.
Yan is listed at -260 in our Vegas UFC lines. This means that if you wager $100 on Yan, you have a chance to win $38. Dvalishvili is +200, offering a chance to win $200 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Yan a 72.22% chance to win, with Dvalishvili at 33.33%.