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Yan v Dvalishvili UFC preview & betting picks – March 11, 2023

Petr Yan v Merab Dvalishvili UFC betting picks

Petr Yan v Merab Dvalishvili

Latest Odds & Fight Info

Main Event odds Yan -263.16 at Bovada | Dvalishvili +205 at Bovada
When Saturday, Mar 11 – main card from 4pm PDT
Where The Theatre at Virgin Hotels, Las Vegas
Watch Live ESPN+ (US), BT Sport (UK), ESPN (AU), UFC Fight Pass

The main event for UFC Fight Night: Yan vs Dvalishvili in Las Vegas this Saturday features a pair of hardened Eastern European warriors. One is a Russian striker who is desperate to erase his recent misfortune, and the other is a Georgian grappler on an irrepressible win streak. Only one will progress toward bantamweight title contender status.

Petr Yan (16-4-0) is a stone-cold killer. He was sensationally robbed at his most recent UFC appearance against Sean O’Malley when two ringside judges somehow fumbled their scoring responsibilities. Some 25 out of 26 media outlets scored the fight for Yan, but that was not enough. The bout prior was another controversial split decision that went against Yan in favour of current bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling, and the Russian will be reluctant to entrust the judges with another close decision.

Yan is a devastating striker who ended Urijah Faber’s career with a rush of overwhelming violence and had O’Malley in deep trouble on numerous occasions. He won the bantamweight belt in 2020 with a knockout win over Jose Aldo, only to lose the title by landing an illegal strike to a downed and beaten Sterling. Yan could rightfully consider himself the unluckiest fighter on the UFC roster.

The Russian powerhouse combines tight technical boxing and footwork with snappy knees and elbows and even the occasional head kick. Yan has trained extensively with the legendary Tiger Mauy Thai in Thailand, and it shows. His ground game is more of an extension of his striking and is normally activated when he has an opponent rattled. Otherwise, he is content to stand and trade from all ranges, where his obvious advantage lies.

READ: Best sports betting sites for UFC odds

Merab Dvalishvili (15-4-0) enters this bout on an impressive eight-fight win streak. His last win was a solid effort over former champion Aldo, and Dvalishvili appears ready for this step up in class. He lacks Yan’s power, with only three knockout victories on his lengthy record, but is a busy fighter who endeavours to outwork his opponent. While Yan sees the judges as his enemy, Dvalishvili’s career has been built on an ability to get the nod in narrow contests.

Dvalishvili is trained out of Long Island by the Serra-Longo Fight Team, the same camp as Yan’s long-time rival Sterling. His corner will be confident it has a gameplan to prevail. The Georgian has a strong judo background and may look to throw Yan to the mat during close skirmishes. He also boasts a sambo background and represented his nation at the World Championships in 2019.

This is a closer contest than the UFC betting markets would suggest. Like any clash of styles, where the fight takes place will be crucial. If Yan can keep the action upright and find his range, he should have too many weapons in his arsenal. If Dvalishvili can score some early takedowns and force Yan to work hard on the mat, his chances of victory will improve dramatically.

It is hard to tip against Yan here. He will be fired up to rectify his recent run of misfortune with an early finish. Dvalishvili is tough, and has never been stopped, but Yan might be able to finish the job in Vegas.

Petr Yan by KO/TKO


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