LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – It’s a good thing Merab Dvalishvili didn’t lose to cross-border rival, Petr Yan, last night (Saturday, March 11, 2023) in the main event of UFC Las Vegas.
Indeed, Georgia’s Dvalishvili picked up one of the most dominating victories of his career against his Russian foe, leading the former bantamweight champion en route to a highly lopsided – and hugely impressive – unanimous decision victory in the theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada. (summary here).
In the process, Dvalishvili broke 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:
Total significant strikes thrown by Merab: 338
Total significant strikes thrown by all other fighters on the main map combined: 462
Total number of withdrawal attempts by Merab: 49
Total number of takedown attempts by all other fighters on the main map combined: 55
—Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) March 12, 2023
At the 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 just want to represent [being] GOOD. Said I don’t care if another fighter [beat me]but [if] lost to him, I should kill myself or something. He’s a great fighter, like I said before, he’s a bit arrogant. And yes, I like fighters because they are humble. They are all good people. And I don’t think this guy is a very good guy.
Dvalishvili is referring to the Russo-Georgian war, which lasted two weeks in August 2008, killing and injuring dozens of his compatriots.
As a result, there’s been plenty of added heat between the bantamweight contenders this week, with Dvalishvili bringing up politics and Yan shoving him by the throat (details here). Fortunately, there will be no more victims because “The Machine” has dominated its rival.
Dvalishvili, 32, is now riding a nine-fight winning streak and knocking the door on a title shot; however, with his teammate, Aljamian Stering, being the champion, it looks like he will continue to fight top contenders at 135 pounds until further notice.
Sorry, Dana White.
For full results and coverage from UFC Las Vegas, click here.
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