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UFC Vegas: Yan vs Dvalishvili - Mar 11 🇺🇸


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I caught the prelims last night and they were very much enjoyable, especially Davey Grant v Raphael Assuncao... Barmy stuff. Can't help but route for Grant. Seems such a likeable guy that I always wanna see do well. 

Skimmed through the main card this morning and there was plenty of good stuff for a low key show. I'll be honest and say I'm not the biggest fan of Merab's style but fucking hell that man puts in some work. Absolutely relentless. God knows what they do with him now and Yan's in no man's land too. If Figgy is coming up to 135 I'd like to see Yan welcome him in to the fold. That would be cracking. 

Had the dreggs of my betting account on Merab via decision so nice to be back in the black. Good stuff overall. 

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Romanov looked like Moldovan Jake Collier. 

Thought that was a fun little card, some decent fights throughout. Davy Grant getting the upside down triangle was pretty slick! 

Merab was non-stop, such a smothering style. Not sure what’s next for him now though. Surely the ufc try and keep O’Mally away from him. 

Is that 4 out of 5 Yan has now lost? Do you give him a step down in competition to help him rebuild? I’d also like to see him and Figgy, that could be fun! 

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This little fucker’s gonna ruin my favourite division. Nah, in all seriousness, I’m not much of a fan of the style Merab uses but what can you do? It’s working for him for now so why change it? Like Silky said, regardless of whether you enjoy watching him or not, you’ve got to respect that level of insane conditioning to be able to just keep pushing and pushing constantly for 25 minutes with that kind of gruelling style. It must be exhausting for him, I can only imagine the hell it must feel like for his opponents. Just gives you zero breathing room. He’d never gone longer than 3 rounds before this but I think everyone just kind of took it as a given that he’d be fine over 5 rounds. For me, seeing how he relentlessly grinded out Aldo in August was enough to convince me. That was a 3 rounder as well but it was at high altitude and Aldo usually does well against that style. Merab completely shut him down though and, despite the altitude, looked like he was barely breathing heavy when it was over. He’s a machine. No wonder Aljo has gone from strength to strength over the past few years with Merab as his not so secret weapon.


It’s just not happening for Yan is it? What a fall. It wasn’t that long ago there was a lot of discussion about Yan being in the pound-for-pound mix. That sounds silly now but he genuinely looked like he was on track to become one of the very best fighters in the game regardless of weight class, for at least the next few years. Based on how good he looked on certain nights - I’m thinking of the Sandhagen, first Sterling (minus the dodgy ending) and the Aldo fights specifically - he looked every bit of what people were saying he was. I don’t know where it’s gone wrong. I’ve seen tweets about that dirty knee against Aljo being a curse but the Sandhagen fight was after that and was arguably his finest performance all around. Whether he’s lost something himself or whether it’s the aura being gone after a couple of losses, he just suddenly looks a lot more beatable. I think Merab would’ve been a tough fight for him anyway, just style-wise he’s a bastard to contend with. Which is why I questioned why Yan even took this fight on after a couple of losses. Merab is just about the last guy you wanna be facing when you’re trying to rebound from losses because 1) beating him is difficult enough and 2) the fight is probably gonna be dull, just making your stock plummet further. Even here, Yan defended 30 something takedowns and still lost a shutout. 

My main problem with this result is what did it achieve, other than snuff out any chance of Yan getting back in contention for the foreseeable? Merab isn’t gonna fight Aljo but he’s knocking off these challengers and in a way that’s hard to rebound from. He already fucked up what would’ve been a pretty special Aljo vs Aldo fight in Brazil. Now he’s taken Yan out of the race. And with Aljo vs Cejudo up next, I fear they’re gonna sacrifice Chito/Sandhagen or O’Malley to him next, which just eliminates another contender. Best case scenario is if Aljo fucks off to 145 after this Cejudo fight. Otherwise Bantamweight’s about to come to a standstill, which would be a real shame after how much better it’s gotten over the last 2-3 years. Maybe the best scenario, and I hate myself for this, would be if Cejudo beats Sterling in May, leaving the path clear for Cejudo vs Merab. I think that would actually be a very interesting fight, albeit probably not a barnburner.

As for Yan, I’m fully on board with him welcoming Figgy to 135. I tweeted the same this morning. It was the first fight that came to mind. They’re both in limbo at the moment, both out of any title picture, both coming off losses etc. But it’s pretty much a guaranteed banger. If Yan loses that one I don’t know where he goes from there. Maybe give a cut to Flyweight a bash?

Volkov just squashed Romanov. Despite my Romanov fandom, I’ve always said I never really expected him to advance too far in the division. Even before the Tybura loss, as fun as it was to watch him suplexing fat jobbers, they were just that. Jobbers. I hoped when I saw how much weight he’d piled back on for this, that it was a tactical thing where he felt like he performed better when he’s bigger. I think the real explanation is much simpler though. He just likes cake.


Volkov looked well up for this. And Romanov…didn’t. Volkov looked in probably the best shape I’ve seen him in years. Romanov looked fatter than ever, despite slimming down loads for his last fight just 7 months ago. I’ll still enjoy watching him throwing nobodies on their heads but it’s clear at this point that he’s going nowhere. Except the biscuit tin. Sad to say but he looked terrible here and I’m not just talking physically. Once his initial attempt at a takedown failed, and even that was a bit of a lazy half arsed try at a single leg, he had nothing. Easy night’s work for Volkov.

Krylov made short work of Spann but it was actually quite exciting while it lasted. My biggest fear about this one when it was originally set to headline that Fight Night a few weeks back was that it would go 5 rounds and be a lacklustre nothing fight. I was a bit more optimistic when it got moved to this card as a 3 rounder. Then on the night it didn’t matter anyway and Krylov got him out of there inside a round.


It was a fun 3 or so minutes though. Better than I expected it to be. They’ve both been inconsistent in the UFC but both were coming off the biggest wins of their careers and both clearly fancied this. I thought Spann had him for a second with that guillotine attempt but Krylov escaped and once that failed, it was all Krylov. And one thing about Krylov, for all his hot and cold spells, he’s a finisher. Sunk in that triangle just as the meatheads started chanting ‘USA’. Smashing.

Jonathan Martinez vs Said Nurmagomedov was a brilliant fight. Seen cries of robbery today but I felt like Martinez took the first two rounds. I think Said ending with a good third round skewed a lot of people’s opinions but while he finished stronger I thought he was already 0-2 down. So unless he got a finish or at least a 10-8 for a draw, I felt like if it went the distance he was likely losing. Maybe I’m off and there’s a case for Said winning one of the other rounds but I didn’t see any real controversy with the decision. It was a mega competitive fight that I thought Martinez was just a bit busier in overall. Corker though. Wouldn’t have had a problem with this getting FOTN myself.

Mario Bautista beat Old Man Cannetti without much bother at all. Had a feeling it would go like that. Fair play, for 43 years old Cannetti is always in tremendous shape and he’s won his last couple. But unlike his physique, those wins didn’t exactly age well. Beating Randy Costa and Kris Moutinho is as good as it’s getting for him. Bautista isn’t a contender or anything but he’s a couple of rungs up the ladder from those guys and over a decade younger than Cannetti. Just wasn’t gonna end well. Nice little run Bautista is on now. Won his last 4, subbed his last 3 inside a round. It’s lower level stuff but he’s doing alright.

Vitor Petrino vs Anton Turkalj was a fun main card opener. They got FOTN, I didn’t rate it that high myself. Thought there were a couple more worthy contenders but it was enjoyable enough and I’ll be up for watching either again. At a time when the roster is choc-full and there’s more dross and no hopers under contract than ever, guys like this are a welcome addition for me. Might not go very far but at least they’re not boring. Decent Fight Night fodder. Petrino especially looks like he’ll be worth watching. At least until the inevitable USADA suspension sidelines him anyway.

Karl Williams vs Lukasz Brzeski wasn’t amazing or anything but I’m a bit more interested to see Williams again after this. I didn’t know anything about him going in and my research for the opening post consisted of about 15 seconds looking at his Sherdog page. I quite enjoyed watching him throw Brzeski about here. In spells anyway. He’s raw and seemed to get a bit too excited at times and that’s probably why he faded a bit later on. He’ll most likely not go too far but it’s Heavyweight and there aren’t many Heavyweights currently on the roster who can wrestle like this so he’ll probably do alright to a point. Brzeski peaked on his walkout…


😂 Don’t hold your fucking beer up like that in front of a guy throwing high fives and expect it to stay in your hand. Muppet. Miserable night for Brzeski all in all though.

Davey Grant vs Raphael Assuncao was a cracking fight. Probably my FOTN to be honest but they didn’t get it. Mixed feelings because I love Grant and I’m always happy to see him win. But it was bittersweet seeing Assuncao go out like that, face down and unconscious.




Some finish though. It’s one thing to beat Assuncao, to choke him out with an inverted triangle of all things was nuts. Had him badly rocked before that, which obviously made it easier, but still. It looks good on the resume. Shame there was the controversy of the fence grab surrounding it though, and that makes me feel for Assuncao even more. I kind of got the argument that the ref took the point from Grant but didn’t restart them from the same position because Grant was on top in an ‘advantageous position’. But in that case I think the ref should ask the other guy if he wants to restart from that position rather than just reset them standing up. Regardless, it was a dramatic ending to a really good fight. I wasn’t scoring closely before that point but with the point deduction I did feel like Grant probably needed a finish and he pulled it out with seconds to go.


And that’s a wrap for Assuncao. A proper veteran and a bit of an underappreciated, unsung player in the lighter weight classes. Finishes on a 28-10 record that doesn’t really do him justice in my opinion. He was really good, just never quite good enough at the very top levels. You look back over his career though and there’s wins over the likes of current champ Aljamain Sterling, TJ Dillashaw, Rob Font, Marlon Moraes, Pedro Munhoz and going way back to his early career wins over Joe Lauzon and Jorge Masvidal. Had a decent run in WEC, had strong spells in the UFC and was a cunt hair away from challenging for the title back when Renan Barao was champ. With hindsight, you wonder how that might’ve played out. Barao wound up defending against Dillashaw instead and you know the rest. I think Dillashaw caused a lot of Barao’s decline but maybe if Assuncao got the shot back then he might’ve been catching Barao at the perfect time. There’s an alternate universe where Raphael Assuncao has his turn with UFC gold. I don’t think he’d have held it for a lengthy period of time but it would’ve been nice for him to at least say he was a former UFC champion. Oh well. There was a time there where he won 11 out of 12 fights in the UFC and the loss was on points in the Dillashaw rematch. There’s been a sharp drop off in recent years though. Injuries, COVID, a car accident and hitting 40 years old isn’t the best combination for success in combat sports and he’s gone 1-5 in his last 6. It was time. Benefit of hindsight but it would’ve been better if he’d called it a day after beating Victor Henry in October. He deserved to go out on a positive note but happy endings only exist in movies and massage parlours.

Very satisfying to see Josh Fremd ruin the debut of the latest woman beating shitebag to pollute the roster Sedriques Dumas. Lovely stuff. Looking at Fremd’s previous results in the UFC, I think the matchmakers thought they were setting Dumas up with a layup here but Fremd wasn’t having it. Seemed to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder here and came in with a point to prove. And I didn’t think Dumas looked very good at all anyway. Hopefully his career goes the same way Greg Hardy’s did. Fuck him. I read the prick had the cheek to demand to be paid for media interviews as well going in. The twat hadn’t even made his debut yet and was expecting to be paid for interviews that the top stars, champions and contenders don’t even charge for. Get the fuck out 😂

Victor Henry vs Tony Gravely was ace, I thought. Really enjoyed it. Another fight I’d have been perfectly fine with getting FOTN. Seemed to get better as it went on and some of the grappling sequences and reversals towards the end were great to watch. Always a pleasure seeing Josh Barnett in the house as well! Just the fact Henry trains with him makes me root for him.

Bruno Gustavo Silva vs Tyson Nam was entertaining as expected. Yet to see a dull fight from either so it wasn’t a shock that this was a lively one as well. Gutted for Nam though. He’s 39 now so he’s already probably outstayed his welcome. Not many 125ers pushing 40 still around. But not only did he lose and get subbed, Silva had to go a step further and make a meme out of him as well.



Christ. That kick was nasty though and set up the whole finish beautifully. Silva’s a little bastard. I remember him getting off to a horrid start in the UFC a few years ago but he clawed it back with a couple of nice stoppage wins. He was coming into this one off a near 2 year layoff though so I had my doubts. Not sure this wasn’t as much to do with Nam coming to the end of his career as it was to do with Silva but it was a great way to get back in there for him. Hopefully he can stay active now. He’ll slot right in nicely for some fun scraps at the middle-lower end of the Flyweight division.

Carlston Harris pretty much did what he wanted against Jared Gooden in the curtain jerker. I quite like Harris but to me Gooden just looked like a guy who’d stepped in on short notice. I don’t particularly rate him anyway but jumping in here was a gamble that definitely didn’t pay off. And I don’t see him having much luck going forward either.

Really good show pretty much top to bottom but ended on a little bit of a flat note with the one way traffic and not very exciting main event. Mostly good stuff underneath that though and the fact I’ve talked about 3 or 4 fights as worthy FOTN candidates tells you it was a decent night of fights. There wasn’t that one blow away slobberknocker that’ll be on everyone’s FOTY lists in December but there were 3 or 4 really strong fights that were very entertaining. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Great little fight night. Merab is an absolute work horse and adds his name to the absolute stacked division of Bantamweight. That division is easily the best one right now. 

The worst thing about Volkov winning is he will probably be in the main event for his next fight, the UFC love sticking him in main events and I am worried that win will mean his next outing will be there.

The venue was quite different, the crowd seemed up for it but the venue seemed pretty small. Hopefully they use that as their new base going forward instead of holding dull shows at the Apex although I worry that the only reason they held it in that venue was because the Apex was busy hosting the Power slap final.

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Merab is a muthafucker, if you dont stop him, you ain't beating him on that form.

Will the UFC cut Romanov off that peformance? that was pretty pathetic, it looked like he mentally gave up after 1 takedown attempt and it was in horrible shape. He clearly got straight off the couch. One of the worst UFC performances in recent history.


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