UFC Las Vegas went down last Saturday night (March 11, 2023) inside The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada, leaving several fighters feeling the post-fight blues. Among them was Ryan Spann, who was submitted by Nikita Krylov in the first round (see it here).
And Alexandr Romanov, who was knocked out by Alexander Volkov in the opening round (highlights). But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?
Coming into his headlining fight against Merab Dvalishvili, “No Mercy” was in dire need of a win because he was on a two-fight losing steak and had dropped three of four overall. A win over Dvalishvili would’ve helped heal the wounds because “The Machine” was surging with eight straight wins.
Instead, things only got worse for the former Bantamweight champion after he was dominated by the Georgian for five rounds, leaving him busted up, worn out and with his first-ever, three-fight losing streak. Overall, he is now just 1-4 since March 2021 and those hopes of fighting for the title again are drifting further and further away with every setback.
It’s hard to believe Yan is in such a slump. After all, he was at one time considered the future of the division after racking up seven straights wins to start his UFC career, including dominant victories over Urijah Faber and Jose Aldo, which eventually earned him the 135-pound belt.
Where it’s gone wrong for Yan is (and isn’t) hard to pinpoint, but the bright side is that other than his one-sided defeat to Merab, two of his other three losses were close split decisions and a controversial disqualification defeat. But, at the end of the day a loss is a loss and Yan has been doing too much of it lately inside the Octagon.
As far as what could be next for “No Mercy,” a fight against Dominick Cruz might be good for him. Cruz was last seen getting knocked out by Marlon Vera in Aug. 2022 (see it again here), so he is also in need of a big win to get his mojo back.
Plus, Cruz has name value, which would help Yan in his efforts to remain in the mix. Sure, you can match him up with someone ranked lower (Cruz is No. 7), but giving him a Top 10-ranked veteran and former champion like “The Dominator” would do a bit more for his career.
It will also be beneficial for Cruz because if he can hand Yan his fourth straight loss, he could get back into the Top 5 in an effort to rekindle his days as a title contender. When you look at the lay of the land at 135 pounds, I can’t see another fight that makes sense … do you?
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