In the main event of UFC Las Vegas, Merab Dvalishvili headlined his first UFC event against former bantamweight champ, Petr Yan.
Dvalishvili was coming off a decision win over Jose Aldo in August to extend his win streak to eight. Also on the win streak, he had wins over John Dodson, Cody Stamann, and Marlon Moraes among others. Yan, meanwhile, entered the fight losing back-to-back split decisions to Sean O’Malley and Aljamain Sterling and was 1-3 in his last four.
Ultimately, Dvalishvili used his insane cardio and wrestling to dominate Yan for all five rounds as he swept the scorecards to pick up the biggest win of his career at UFC Las Vegas. Now, after UFC Las Vegas, here is what I think should be next for both men involved in the main event.
Merab Dvalishvili is in a very unique spot. Dvalishvili extended his win streak to nine on Saturday in a dominating performance as he beat Yan more clearly than anyone has in his career. However, after the fight, he confirmed he wouldn’t fight Sterling who is his close friend and training partner and who also holds the bantamweight title.
With that, Dana White was clear in saying that wasn’t a smart idea, and even though Dvalishvili beat Yan, he is in a weird spot and will need to remain active as he waits to see what happens between Sterling-Cejudo. If Sterling wins, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the UFC give him Umar Nurmagomedov as a tough test for not wanting to fight Sterling.
Petr Yan is now 1-4 in his last five and on a three-fight losing skid after many thought he would be the bantamweight champ for the foreseeable future, with the illegal knee DQ against Sterling really changing his entire career.
Yan is now in a unique spot as he has only lost to the very best at bantamweight but will likely need to string together multiple wins in a row before getting a title shot. I also expect the Russian to take a step down in competition and a logical next opponent is to face Dominick Cruz. It’s a big-name opponent for Yan and a step-down in the rankings which is needed for the Russian.
What do you think should be next for Merab Dvalishvili and Petr Yan after UFC Las Vegas?