Merab Dvalishvili defeated Petr yan in the main event of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night. His impressive performances ended with a unanimous decision victory which massively improved his status in the bantamweight division.
Many didn’t expect this to happen, but Dvalishvili and his team have. The Georgian attempted 49 takedowns, of which 11 were successful, breaking many division records and some on the level of the entire organization.
“I tried to keep it professional. My team was telling me that I was taking this fight different. Thank God, I did professional. He called me a zero. Who’s the zero now?” said Dvalishvili following the battle.
🚨🚨 MERAB DVALISHVILI EST JUSTE AU-DESSUS !
LE GÉORGIEN A DÉTRUIT PETR YAN. DÉCISION UNANIME (50-45x)
— ARENA (@MMArena_) March 12, 2023
The Machine, as the fans call Dvalishvili, constantly and stubbornly attacked his rival, fanatically attempting to take him to the mat. Those 49 takedown attempts are the new UFC record, and even though 38 were unsuccessful, those 11 made have created a huge difference in the scorecards. Also, this is the first time we’ve seen Yan completely outpunched, with him absorbing 147 significant strikes while, on the other hand, sending only 70 in the opposite direction.
Yan couldn’t adapt to this and was stiffed and unable to fight back, which saw him picking up his fourth loss in the past five events, something nobody expected to see. He is considered to be one of the best fighters in the entire organization, yet this streak damages his reputation heavily.
Dvalishvili is Aljamain Sterling’s training partner, so this had a higher meaning for him. Yan lost the title to Sterling via some controversial decisions and situations, but tonight, he suffered a clear and confident defeat.
He will have to battle in the future to keep his reputation, while on the other side, Dvalishvili is now first in line to attack the title. The problem is that he doesn’t want to fight Sterling, the reigning champion, because he considers Aljo a brother.
“He is my brother and the world champion,” Dvalishvili said. “Whenever he decides to go up in weight class and fight whoever is there, after that, I will fight for the title. Of course, I want to be champion.”
— bjpenndotcom (@bjpenndotcom) March 12, 2023
Though, it might be unnecessary for the two to meet because Sterling defends the title on May 6 against Henry Cejudo, who comes back from retirement for this clash. If the former two-weight champ wins this one, he could be Merab’s next target.
In other fights, Alexander Volkov knocked out Alexandr Romanov, who suffered the second loss in his career. The bout lasted for 2:16, and it saw Romanov’s unsuccessful takedown attempt before Volkov began punishing him and eventually ending the fight.
One punch was all it needed for Volkov to hurt his rival, and quickly get on top of him on the ground. Afterward, it was all a routine for Volkov. The big Russian won three of the last four, and is in contention to either have a title eliminator or another main event. Some even suggest he might earn a title shot against Jon Jones, but that’s a wild scenario.
Nikita Krylov was better than Ryan Spann, submitting the American in the opening round. It was a big win for him and the third one in a row, following victories over Alexander Gustafsson and Volkan Oezdemir. Krylov had four bouts in 12 months and stated that he needs time to rest before fighting Jan Blachowicz, his next target.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.