LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — It’s a good thing Merab Dvalishvili didn’t lose to cross-border rival, Petr Yan, last night (Sat., March 11, 2023) in the main event of UFC Las Vegas.
Indeed, Georgia’s Dvalishvili picked up one of the most dominant wins of his career against his Russian nemesis, routing the former Bantamweight champion en route to a very lopsided — and extremely impressive — unanimous decision win inside The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada (recap here).
In the process, Dvalishvili shattered the record for most takedown attempts during their five-round fight with 49 (Cain Velasquez held the previous record with 33).
Merab was a machine tonight:— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) March 12, 2023
Total significant strikes thrown by Merab: 338
Total significant strikes thrown by every other fighter on the main card combined: 462
Total takedown attempts by Merab: 49
Total takedown attempts by every other fighter on the main card combined: 55
During UFC Las Vegas’ post-fight press conference (watch it here), Dvalishvili revealed that the fight with Yan meant so much to him that he would have killed himself if he lost.
“I had extra pressure to represent my country, my people, my team,” Dvalishvili told reporters after his win. “We were working so hard, and I want to just represent [being] good. I said I don’t care if any other fighter [beat me], but [if] lost against him, I should kill myself or something. He’s a great fighter, like I said before, he is a little bit cocky. And yeah, I love fighters because they are humble. They are all good people. And I don’t think this guy is a very good guy.”
Dvalishvili is referencing the Russo-Georgian War, which lasted two weeks back in Aug. 2008, killing and inuring scores of his countrymen and women.
As a result, there was a lot of extra heat between the Bantamweight contenders this week, with Dvalishvili bringing up politics and Yan throat pushing him (details here). Thankfully, there will be no further casualties as “The Machine” dominated his rival.
Dvalishvili, 32, is now riding a nine-fight win streak and is knocking on the door of a title shot; however, with his teammate, Aljamian Stering, being the champion, it looks like he will continue fighting top 135-pound contenders until further notice.
For complete UFC Las Vegas results and coverage click here.