The UFC has booked their headliner for their first event at the Virgin Hotel in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Review Journal broke the news last night that on March 11th, former bantamweight champion Petr Yan (16-4) would be returning to take on Merab Dvalishvili (15-4).
There is already beef between these two men due to the camps. It’s no secret that Petr Yan has a history with Dvalishvili’s lead training partner and current champion Aljamain Sterling. Because of that, there is already a good level of dislike there and now these two will square off inside the octagon.
For Dvalishvili, he’s looking to make the case that he’s ready to take on the very best in the bantamweight division. Dvalishvili last fought at UFC 278 when he took on former featherweight champion Jose Aldo. It wasn’t the most entertaining bout, but Dvalishvili stifled the former champion and won a decision.
After losing his first two bouts inside the octagon, Dvalishvili has been perfect. He’s gone a perfect 8-0 and he’s looking to defeat another former champion in his next bout on March 11th.
Former UFC Champion Returns
Petr Yan last fought in October at UFC 280 against “Suga” Sean O’Malley. It was his first bout after losing a split decision to Aljamain Sterling for the bantamweight title. Once again, Yan found himself on the losing end of a split decision.
I’ll say this as a big fan of Sean O’Malley, Petr Yan won that fight. In my mind, there wasn’t even a ton of debate. In fact, I also think he deserved the win against Sterling in their second fight. However, both times the judges sided against Yan and now he’s 1-3 in his last four.
Don’t let that fool you though. He’s still one of the very best bantamweights in the world and if he comes out and runs through Dvalishvili, he’s going to be right back in the title picture.