The former UFC bantamweight champion is back in action as Petr “No Mercy” Yan headlines this week’s UFC card against the surging Georgian, Merab “The Machine” Dvalishvili.
UFC Fight Night: Yan vs Dvalishvili is taking place at the Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday, March 11, with the main card kicking off at 6 p.m. ET. Sportsbooks have listed Yan as the -250 favorite and Dvalishvili +205 on the comeback.
Petr Yan vs Merab Dvalishvili Betting Odds
Odds as of March 6
To further expand on the odds, our sports betting calculator tells us that the -250 line for Yan translates to an implied win probability of 71.43 percent and a $10 wager would net you a $4.00 gain. This also means that Merab’s odds have an implied probability of 32.79 percent and a $10 bet on him would result in a $30.50 payout.
Short Odds For A Fighter On A Losing Skid
I was surprised to see Yan set as the favorite at over 2:1 in this fight. Yes, the former champ does deserve the respect from oddsmakers, but the Russian has been in three straight fights that went the distance, each of them close and two of which saw his opponent’s arm raised.
Conversely, Dvalishvili hasn’t been designated with the underdog status since his last loss in 2018, which came at the end of the third round – literally at 5:00 of the last round – to Ricky Simon in a fight that he was winning. The Machine was merely a +110 dog in that bout so a +205 line is mighty intriguing, especially with him in the midst of an eight-fight winning streak.
Yan Must Leave No Doubts
There is absolutely no way that Yan has faith in the Octagon-side judges on the heels of back-to-back split-decision losses. The bout against Aljamain Sterling for the strap last April was less controversial than his most recent defeat in October to Sean O’Malley.
In that fight, a pound of flesh was taken from both men but it did appear that O’Malley was a little more active and did just enough to earn the win. Yan was vocal about the judges following that fight.
Fuck the judges!— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) October 22, 2022
This ... fire – shall we call it – could lend to No Mercy looking to end this fight inside the distance. If you look for the knockout, you’re unlikely to win the decision. This is also a dangerous game to play with a conditioning freak with the moniker “The Machine.”
Can Dvalishvili Find Success In The Wrestling?
While Merab’s last victory, over former featherweight champion Jose Aldo, came solely from a fight on the feet, there’s no doubt that his bread is buttered in the wrestling department. Dvalishvili averages 6.54 takedowns per 15 minutes, landing multiple takedowns in all of his fights with the exception of the Aldo bout.
Conditioning is always at the forefront of a Merab fight, which is evident in the outstanding wrestling numbers, but there was some fatigue in his last bout at elevation in Salt Lake City.
This is the first time that Dvalishvili has entered the five-round club so there will always be questions about how a guy can hold up for 25 minutes, but if the past is any indication of the future, he should be just fine.
Yan vs Dvalishvili Pick
As I touched on in the odds analysis section, this line was surprising to me. Dvalishvili is being undervalued in this spot; I would have placed him closer to +125 with Yan coming in as the -150 chalk.
No Mercy is known for being a bit of a slow starter and playing with his food, which could very quickly see him get out-grappled in the early stages of the fight and down on the scorecards, which could lead to yet another close judges’ decision. That’s how I see this playing out with Merab winning the early parts of this fight and I’m going with the value.