Petr Yan and Merab Dvalishvili squared off in a Bantamweight contest earlier tonight (Sat., March 11, 2023) at UFC Las Vegas from inside The Theater at Virgin Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. In a wildly impressive showing, Dvalishvili controlled Yan from start to finish and won every round.
It took roughly a few seconds for Dvalishvili to attempt his first takedown, but he couldn’t hold his man down. Yan kicked Dvalishvili’s calf and forced him to spin around. “The Machine” answered with a low kick of his own, but Yan kicked him harder once more in return. Another low kick from Yan — it looked to be a major weapon for “No Mercy” — and he stuffed another shot.
The Russian ripped a liver kick and defended another takedown attempt. Another. Heavy 1-2 connection for Dvalishvili. Yan defended a couple more shots and landed a clean elbow on the break. Yan attempted a takedown of his own and gets reversed in the process. Yan was up quickly, but Dvalishvili landed some decent shots in the process to close the round.
Both men landed heavy power hand connections in the opening 30 seconds of the second round. Dvalishvili was keeping a high pace and landing pretty well. Good jabs from Dvalishvili. Dvalishvili low kick hurt Yan, who switched stances to Southpaw! Yan landed a couple good left hands and a body kick, but Dvalishvili blasted him off his feet with a double leg.
Yan was back to his feet within a few seconds. Dvalishvili pushed forward, but Yan caught a kick and tripped him to the canvas. “The Machine” scrambled back up quickly, and then the two broke apart. Dvalishvili was nonstop, and he scored another brief takedown along the fence. The control time was really adding up for Dvalishvili, who’s been relentless through ten minutes.
The third round saw Dvalishvili continue to frustrated Yan. Neither man landed anything particularly significant, and most of Dvalishvili’s takedowns were stuffed. Still, “The Machine” was just so much more actively, and his constant grappling attempts kept him in control of the action overall.
By the beginning of the fourth, Yan’s right eye was swollen shut from all of Dvalishvili’s various lands. “No Mercy” was still throwing, but he was rendered largely reactive by Dvalishvili’s ridiculous pace and pressure. Yan could not escape Dvalishvili’s cycle of offense, and it cost him yet another round.
There would be no miracle for Yan. He still defended more takedowns than not, but Yan just could not get his offense going. Dvalishvili stayed in his face and won most every exchange, finishing plenty of them with takedown attempts to prevent Yan from every catching his breath enough to throw hard.
It was dominant work, and it sure looks like Dvalishvili could be the best Bantamweight alive. Unfortunately, there will be no showdown between him and his long-time training partner, Aljamain Sterling.
Result: Merab Dvalishvili defeats Petr Yan via unanimous decision
For complete UFC Las Vegas: “Yan vs. Dvalishvili” results and play-by-play, click HERE.
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