UFC Vegas 71 goes down this weekend at The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas. In the main event, Merab Dvalishvili faces the toughest test of his career in former bantamweight champion, Petr Yan.
Yan is coming off back-to-back close losses at the hands of Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley and will be looking to bounce back in a big way against Dvalishvili, who’s currently riding an eight-fight winning streak with his most recent win coming against Jose Aldo at UFC 278.
UFC Vegas 71: Analysis And Prediction
Yan vs Dvalishvili is a classic striker vs grappler match. The Russian is the far better striker. He’s arguably one of the best strikers in the division, and his ability to navigate through tough situations is second to none. A slow starter who grows bigger as the fight progresses, Yan is a dangerous fighter to deal with in a longer fight. His head hunting is as good as his body work, and once he starts dancing to his rhythm, he shows his opponents ‘No Mercy’.
Dvalishvili is one of the best wrestlers in the division. He’s relentless and doesn’t stop until he takes the fight to his world. His endurance is pretty good as well, so he’ll be a tough matchup for Yan.
On paper, it isn’t a tough one to predict. The fighter to execute his game plan better will win, but who will it be? If the fight stays on the feet, Yan will win, but if Dvalishvili takes it to the mat, he’ll be all over the Russian. Statistically, Yan has better offence as he lands close to five and a half significant strikes per minute on average, whereas Dvalishvili lands close to four. The Georgian absorbs a lot less and that’s due to the fact that he doesn’t like to stand and trade. Dvalishvili lands close to six takedowns per 15 minutes, but Yan’s takedown defence is exceptional at 90 percent.
Yan vs Dvalishvili is an intriguing fight, but expect the Russian to stuff the takedowns, tire out Dvalishvili and win by decision.
Prediction: Petr Yan by decision
Petr Yan (-260)
Merab Dvalishvili (+220)
Who do you think will win the bantamweight clash between Petr Yan and Merab Dvalishvili in the UFC Vegas 71 main event?