LAS VEGAS — They don’t actually name Merab Dvalishvili “The Machine” for nothing.
Dvalishvili (16-4) earned the largest win of his profession on Saturday as he dominated former champion petryan (16-5) in a five-round unanimous determination at UFC Struggle Evening inside The Theater at Virgin Resorts. All three judges scored the 135-pound struggle a 50-45 shutout for Dvalishvili, who got here in as a 2-1 underdog.
The Georgian bantamweight turned in a historic efficiency within the win. He tried a UFC file 49 takedowns, breaking the earlier file of 33 set by the previous heavyweight champion. Cain Velasquez in 2012, and was profitable in 11 of them. In response to UFC Stats, Dvalishvili additionally landed 202 of 401 whole punches in comparison with 87 of 155 for Yan.
“I mentioned earlier than, it was private for me,” Dvalishvili mentioned. “I attempted to maintain it skilled. My crew was telling me I used to be taking this struggle in another way. Thank God I made it skilled. He known as me zero. Who’s zero now?”
There was undoubtedly dangerous blood between the 2 all through struggle week. Dvalishvili, who has a Georgian flag tattooed on his chest as a result of UFC’s current restriction on fighters strolling into the Octagon along with his nation’s flag, made certain to talk out in opposition to Russia’s ongoing battle with Ukraine. Yan fights within the Russian metropolis of Yekaterinburg.
A lot of Georgia followers turned out for Dvalishvili’s efficiency on Saturday and loved his victory over a former UFC champion and pound-for-pound candidate.
“I’m very proud, due to all of the Georgians who got here right here and watched from house,” Dvalishvili mentioned. “We’re solely 5 million, however we’re sturdy. I’m very comfortable to be right here and symbolize my nation.”
Even those that predicted a Dvalishvili upset would have had a tough time imagining it like that. Dvalishvili stayed on Yan from bell to bell, continually firing off one-legged takedowns and pulling him shut in punching exchanges. He turned each second of the struggle right into a grueling affair, attacking Yan with kicks, jabs, proper arms, clinch knees and elbows.
He appeared to harm Yan’s lead left leg with a kick within the second spherical and swelled his proper eye with punches halfway by way of the fourth. Yan didn’t appear terribly fatigued by Dvalishvili’s tempo, however he appeared extraordinarily uncomfortable with the amount being imposed on him. It’s Yan’s fourth loss in his final 5 appearances after beginning his profession 15-1.
As for what Saturday’s win units up for Dvalishvili, that half is much less clear. He’s a detailed buddy and coaching accomplice of the defending champion. sterling aljamainwho additionally defeated Yan twice in a rivalry that happened between 2021 and 2022. Combating underneath Ray Longo and Matt Serra, the 2 associates have made it clear that they won’t struggle one another, even when a belt is on the road.
“He’s my brother and the world champion,” Dvalishvili mentioned of Sterling, who was in his nook on Saturday. “Any time he decides to maneuver up in rank and struggle whoever is there, after that, I’ll struggle for the title. In fact I need to be champion.”
Sterling is scheduled to defend his title in opposition to the two-weight champion henry cejudo at UFC 288 on Could 6 in Newark, New Jersey.