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UFC Vegas: Yan vs Dvalishvili - Mar 11 🇺🇸


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Off to Sin City again for this one next week but it’s not at the Apex! This card is at a different venue and will actually be in front of fans.


Petr Yan vs Merab Dvalishvili 

Alexander Volkov vs Alexandr Romanov 

Nikita Krylov vs Ryan Spann

Said Nurmagomedov vs Jonathan Martinez 

Mario Bautista vs Guido Cannetti

Vitor Petrino vs Anton Turkalj 

Lukasz Brzeski vs Karl Williams 

Raphael Assuncao vs Davey Grant

Sedriques Dumas vs Josh Fremd

Tony Gravely vs Victor Henry

JJ Aldrich vs Ariane Lipski 

Tyson Nam vs Bruno Gustavo Silva 

Carlston Harris vs Jared Gooden 


I like the look of this actually. Main event is an interesting clash of styles and means something to the division and the rest of the main card is pretty solid. Prelims aren’t amazing but there’s actually some cool little pairings on there, I think. This is how a Fight Night should look. Assuncao vs Grant should absolutely be higher up the card but, apart from that, I can’t really find fault with this.



Petr Yan vs Merab Dvalishvili headlines this bad boy. The Bantamweight division continues to deliver. Love this fight and I think it’s a really interesting one for both. Feels like despite recent results, a win here for Yan would put him right back in the conversation in the title mix and a win for Merab should be just the ticket for him as well, although that could get awkward soon as I’ll go into in a bit.


It’s a funny one for Yan though. Coming off back-to-back losses and they stick him with a grinder like Merab? Seems a bit harsh but I’m guessing Yan sees this as his way back into the title picture. And in fairness to Yan, his recent win/loss record doesn’t really tell the whole story. He’s 1-3 in his last 4, which paints a picture of a man on the decline. But if you watched those fights, you’ll know that’s not the case. One of the losses was the DQ against Aljamain Sterling in their first fight, a fight Yan was comfortably winning before his inexplicable brain fart knee. The other two losses were split decisions against Aljo again and then Sean O’Malley in his last fight in October. Some felt like Yan won the Aljo rematch. Many thought he beat O’Malley. I’d have to rewatch them but I don’t remember thinking either were bad decisions and certainly not robberies. But you could probably make a solid case for him winning one or both of those fights. Regardless, the record books have them as losses and that’s that. He’s a really good fighter, one of the very best in the division, but results just haven’t gone his way recently. And although he seems a bit of a penis and I know he’s not exactly well liked on here, I’ve got to give him his due for taking a tough fight like this when he’s coming off losses. There’s every chance he gets stifled to another frustrating close points loss here and nobody needs to be going 0-3. That would shut him right out of the title race for the foreseeable. So fair play to him for taking the gamble when he probably could’ve campaigned for a more stylistically favourable matchup to try to rebound in.


Merab is a bit of a darkhorse at 135 but he’s getting up there on the Bantamweight ladder now. Hence this main event spot against the former champ. He’s a tough little bastard. Strong as a bull. Had a bit of a patchy start to his MMA career but things eventually clicked for him and he’s now 15-4 and on an 8 fight win streak that’s seen him rise to a #3 ranking in the division. Yan’s at #2 so it’s the logical next step for Merab. A win here would make him hard to deny. There’s a couple of things working against him though. One, his teammate and friend Aljamain Sterling is the current champion.


Those Serra-Longo guys seem close so I doubt they’d fight each other. Aljo has made noises about moving up to 145 in the near future so that would leave the division clear for Merab. But until then, he’s kind of just fighting for the silver medal. The other thing is that he’s not typically very entertaining to watch. His style is effective but it doesn’t always make for exciting fights to watch. There are exceptions, of course. His wild shootout with Marlon Moraes was great fun. But in general, he’s become more of a grinding, high level decision merchant. Can’t argue with his recent results but, as we’ve seen with other guys, that kind of style doesn’t exactly have people clamouring to see you in big fights or going for titles. Case in point, he’s coming off the biggest win of his career here beating the legendary Jose Aldo back in August. He pretty much completely nullified and shut Aldo down but it was such a flat, lacklustre fight to watch. Probably Aldo’s least enjoyable fight ever, which was doubly shite as it turned out to be his swansong. But what can you do? That’s Merab’s style and it got him the W. Looking forward to seeing how this one plays out. It might not be a barnburner, or I don’t know maybe it will. But the pressure is on Yan a bit now and I’m intrigued to see how he tackles Merab’s gruelling, mauling style.



Alexander Volkov vs Alexandr Romanov. What’s this? A Heavyweight fight that’s not utter shite? There’s something about this matchup I really like. Yeah, probably Romanov’s suplexes! I think I may have mentioned before that I’m a sucker for a good suplex. What can I say? I was a huge Steiner Brothers fan.


Have it. Romanov is one of my favourite Heavyweights these days, to be honest. Not expecting him to be champ or anything, he might not go any further than he is currently. But I like him. Just a big chubby suplex and chokes machine. He’s 16-1 now and coming off the first loss of his career. A majority decision against Marcin Tybura at UFC 278 in August. I’m hazy on that one but I seem to recall him fading a bit as it went on, which doesn’t bode well. Although, the high altitude in Salt Lake City can’t have helped, especially with the big boys. Like I said, I’m not expecting Romanov to go much higher. He hasn’t beat anyone particularly good yet. I just enjoy watching him chuck fuckers about. Volkov is a tough fight for him coming off his first loss. He’s coming off a quick TKO over Jairzinho Rozenstruik in June. Hit and miss UFC run but he’s got a wealth of experience as well as the obvious physical advantages. When he’s on, he’s a handful. But he’s very inconsistent. My interest here lies solely on my desire to see Romanov hit a suplex on someone of Volkov’s size!



Nikita Krylov vs Ryan Spann then. Let’s try this again. Of course it was all set to headline the Apex card on Feb 25th but Krylov pulled out on the night of the show. I wasn’t in love with the fight to begin with but I don’t hate it. It makes enough sense as far as matchmaking goes. Just not doing much for me. I guess if there’s a silver lining to the whole thing, at least it’s not gonna be 5 rounds now. I can stomach 3 rounds of it.


Krylov’s a weird one. Such a hot and cold career. There have been nights when he’s looked like he legitimately might go on to be something but then those nights always seemed to be mixed in with losses. He’s never quite been able to string together a consistent run of wins or strong performances to build any kind of serious momentum. Over the years he’s beat the likes of Johnny Walker, Ovince Saint Preux (in the days before OSP was shot to shit), knocked out Fabio Maldonado, headkicked Ed Herman etc. But he’s still 4-4 in his last 8 and that kind of sums up the 50/50 coin flip of not knowing which version of him will show up from one fight to the next. To be fair, he’s won his last couple of fights and bagged what were probably the two best wins of his career to date. He knocked out Alexander Gustafsson in just over a minute in July, then followed up with a points win in a fun fight against Volkan Oezdemir in October. Not bad. Although I’m not putting much stock in the Gus win at this point.


Spann’s similar really. He’s doing a bit better win/loss ratio-wise. He’s 6-2 in his last 8. But like Krylov, there’s still been those nights when he just hasn’t looked at the races at all. The loss to Anthony Smith immediately springs to mind, where for whatever reason Spann looked defeated before it even started. Even at the weigh in face-off he just stood with his head down looking down in the dumps, then got finished in a round the next night. Over the years he’s stopped Little Nog, Misha Cirkunov and Devin Clark. But again, losses mixed in. But he’s also put two solid wins together in his last couple of fights. He submitted Ion Cutelaba in 2 minutes back in May. Then in November, he scored by far the best win of his career…



He knocked Dominick Reyes spark out just over a minute into their fight at Madison Square Garden. A brutal knockout and a fairly big scalp for him. Although, similar to Krylov’s win over Gustafsson, I don’t know how much to read into it because Reyes was coming off a long time on the shelf and a couple of knockout losses himself. Seems like there are a bunch of parallels here between Krylov and Spann, how their careers have played out and their recent form. I’m not really expecting much from it but at least it’s not the main event on this one.



Said Nurmagomedov vs Jonathan Martinez sounds like fun. Nurmagomedov really seems to have found his stride recently. Nobody’s been talking much about him but if he keeps winning and fighting the way he has been, that’ll soon change. He’s 17-2 now with 9 finishes and coming off 4 straight wins with 3 inside the distance. Subbed Cody Stamann in less than a minute and choked Saidyokub Kakhramonov in his most recent fight in December. He’s been looking good and seems to be growing in skills and confidence with each fight. Although I’ve said before he does have a tendency to spam the shit out of spinning attacks and I can see someone making him pay for that down the line. Martinez is a typical tough scrappy Mexican. No world beater but isn’t a stranger to fun fights. He’s 17-4 and comes into this one off the biggest win of his career, a leg kick TKO stoppage over Cub Swanson back in October. Good stuff. Got a feeling there’ll be some bonus money coming to one or both of these guys.



Mario Bautista vs Guido Cannetti is a nothing fight but not the worst for a Fight Night undercard. Bautista can be decent enough to watch. He has his moments. He’s 11-2 and has won his last 3. Subbed Brian Kelleher and Benito Lopez in his last 2 and the Lopez finish last time out was pretty sweet.


Cannetti is 43 years old and not that good but he’s somehow coming off back-to-back first round finishes. Got a TKO over Kris Moutinho and subbed Randy Costa last time. Moutinho is a jobber and Costa’s turned out to be a complete flop though. But 43 and getting wins, fair play. He’s probably getting battered here though. Not that Bautista is anything special really but he’s got no business losing to old Marty Cannetti.



Vitor Petrino vs Anton Turkalj might be one to keep an eye on. I’ve never seen Petrino and I’m not too familiar with Turkalj but I’ll give this one a bash. This Petrino fella has my attention. I’m sure he has USADA’s attention as well!


Clearly eats his chicken and broccoli. He’s Brazilian, only 25 years old and he’s currently 7-0 with 6 knockouts. He stopped ex UFC fighter Gadzhimurad Antigulov on a UAE Warriors card in 2021 then scored another KO on DWCS in September and here we are. Turkalj is making his second trip to the Octagon here. His debut was less than ideal. He was thrown in with Jailton Almeida on short notice and got ragdolled and submitted in a round. That’s his only loss so far though. He’s Swedish, 8-1 with 7 finishes. Like I say, not seen Petrino and only seen Turkalj getting squashed but this doesn’t sound like a bad pairing to be fair. Both obviously go for the finish anyway.



Lukasz Brzeski vs Karl Williams is just filling a slot. Brzeski is Polish, 30 years old with a record of 8-2-1-1 and 7 finishes. Went to a No Contest on DWCS and somehow got a contract off the back of that but then lost a split decision in his UFC debut against the mighty Martin Buday. Yeah. Williams is making his debut here after a points win on DWCS himself in September. He’s 7-1 with 3 knockouts.



Raphael Assuncao vs Davey Grant is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** on this card and I’m a bit baffled why it’s so low down on the card. Maybe they’ll update the bout order but this is where it currently sits just over a week out and it’s a bit of a head scratcher to me. Easily one of the best fights on the card and they’ve both earned a regular main card spot on Fight Nights at this stage in their careers surely? Assuncao is 40 years old now and was in a right bastard of a slump going into his last fight. He’d lost 4 fights in a row, battled COVID, suffered injuries and was even in a car crash! He just had the worst run of luck for a couple of years there. So it was nice to see him finally get back in the win column in October.


He beat Victor Henry by decision that night and it felt like the UFC set that one up with the intention of putting Assuncao out to pasture and giving Henry whatever rub he’d get off that win. Assuncao was having none of it and not only won, I recall him having a pretty strong performance all around. Great to see. This is a sensible matchup because Grant is 37 himself and has also been through the wringer over the years with multiple injuries and layoffs. He’s managed to stay healthy and active the last couple of years though and, win or lose, he’s been consistently involved in bangers. Seriously, if you’re at a loose end one day, go on Fight Pass and watch Davey Grant’s last 5 fights. Martin Day, Jonathan Martinez, Chito Vera, Adrian Yanez, Louis Smolka. All fantastic fights. He lost to Chito and Yanez, he’s pretty much found his level at this point. But he knocked the other 3 out and he fought his arse off in all those fights. I expect no different here.



Sedriques Dumas vs Josh Fremd. Not a clue. Never seen this Dumas bloke but he looks like some random terrible rapper you get these days. The funny hair colours, the rancid tattoos etc. Looking him up on Sherdog he’s undefeated at 7-0, 6 finishes. Got a 47 second submission on DWCS in August to earn a UFC contract. Fremd is 9-4 with 7 finishes and has gone winless so far in his 2 fights in the UFC. Looks like this is designed as a bit of a squash match for this Dumas chap.



Tony Gravely vs Victor Henry is a decent fight. Gravely is 23-8 and lost a decision to Javid Basharat last time out. No shame in that though as Basharat is undefeated and looks like one to watch. Before that he’d won a couple of fights and I remember him looking pretty good. He’s never gonna be in title contention or get very high in the rankings but he’s quite experienced and a nice test for guys coming up. Henry’s kind of the same. He’s 35 and 22-6 in his career. Trains under Josh Barnett which gives him instant cool points with me. Beat Raoni Barcelos in his UFC debut but lost a decision to Raphael Assuncao in his last fight.



JJ Aldrich vs Ariane Lipski. Not the best but whatever. Aldrich is 11-5 and got submitted by Erin Blanchfield in her last fight. She beat Gillian Robertson, Vanessa Demopoulos and Cortney Casey before that. Can’t remember being overly impressed by her but there’s worse in the division. And that Blanchfield loss hasn’t aged badly. Lipski’s 14-8 and has lost 3 of her last 4. She’s a former KSW champion and I think some had high hopes for her when the UFC signed her but she’s been floundering. She’s lost to pretty much anyone decent she’s fought.



Tyson Nam vs Bruno Gustavo Silva is another potential darkhorse bonus winner, I reckon. Believe it or not, Nam’s 39 now. I don’t know how much longer he plans to do this but I’ve had a soft spot for him for years. Ever since he sprung that mad upset knockout over Eduardo Dantas years ago, who was the Bellator champ at the time. Nam was supposed to be cannon fodder to keep Dantas ticking over and Bjorn Rebney’s arrogance backfired in spectacular fashion. Loved it, and I’ve been a Nam fan ever since. He’s 21-12-1 now, a proper journeyman. Still, he’s coming off a sweet first round KO over Ode Osbourne in his last fight in August and his only loss in recent years was a split decision against Matt Schnell. Silva is 12-5-2-1 and has scored consecutive POTN winning finishes over Victor Rodriguez and JP Buys in his last couple. He hasn’t fought since May 2021 for some reason though.



Carlston Harris vs Jared Gooden is a last minute switch up. Harris was supposed to face Abubakar Nurmagomedov but Boob is out and frankly I’m not upset about it at all. He’s shite. This might actually be better to watch. Harris is 17-5 and was on a 5 fight winning streak before getting put through the Shavkat Rakhmonov meat grinder in his last fight. He’d scored first round finishes in his first two UFC fights before being fed to Shavkat though. He’s also got pre-UFC wins over Michel Pereira and Wellington Turman on his record. Gooden is 22-8 and had an unsuccessful stint in the UFC a few years ago, going a dismal 1-3 in the promotion. He was released in 2021 and has since gone away and won 4 of his last 5 fights, 3 inside the distance. He’s never gonna amount to much though. One of his previous UFC losses was a decision loss to old Abubakar, who as I’ve said, I don’t rate at all.


That’ll do. 


Edited by wandshogun09
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On 3/5/2023 at 6:25 PM, wandshogun09 said:

Early kickoff for this one. 8pm start for the prelims. Not sure why but not complaining. 


I just worked out why this card is a early start it's because on Saturday night it's the first slap fight ppv on rumble, they will be constantly pushing and promoting it throughout this card and my guess is as soon as this finishes it will run right into that.

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Remember slimmed down Romanov from his last fight in August?


Yeah, well them days are over. He’s back on the chippy teas and of course he looks a lot happier for it.


264.5lbs. His last fight he weighed in at 239.5lbs so he’s been tucking in. To be honest though, for as much as he visually looked in better shape against Tybura last time, it was by far his worst performance in the UFC yet. Obviously a big part of that was that Tybura was a step up from his past opposition. But I don’t think being smaller lends itself to his mauling style anyway. Again here though, he’s got a tough test in Volkov and I’m not convinced he passes it. 

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im hoping hes thinking the extra size helps him, if not he's phoned this fucker in.

The Yan/Merab build has got a bit nasty this last week, Merab seems to be making the most noise, but Yan retaliated at the weigh in:


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Dunno if i'm completely underselling Yan here coming off two losses but i'm predicting a Merab win. Merab just seems to be one of those fighters made for 5 rounders. If Yan doesn't hurt and discourage Merab in the first two rounds I think we'll see Merab grind this out in a fairly boring fight. Think it all depends on how those opening rounds play out.

Decent card though, in front of a crowd too so this could be good.


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This Sedriques Dumas bloke sounds nice.


Basically sounds like a mini Greg Hardy but even worse. Snippets from the article if you’re too lazy to click the link…




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Gone for Yan in the poll, looking at his record if you didn’t no better you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s on the slide or in bad form but not sure it tells the whole story. Think he bounces back here and gets a UD. Still don’t like him though. 

With the early start time I might make it all the way through this without falling asleep… 

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My sky box didn't series link it for this one for some reason, and I don't see the replay on tonight at nine like usual. So it'll probably end up being a case of going back and watching in the middle of the week, should word of mouth tell me there was anything particularly notable. I'm gonna guess Merab grinded it out in the main. 

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