Petr Yan insists there will be no controversy on Saturday when the former bantamweight champion meets No.3 contender Merab Dvalishvili in the main event of UFC Fight Night. The five-round fight anchors the main UFC fight card (6 p.m. ET) from the Virgins Hotel in Las Vegas. Jan has held the temporary and unified zones, but his short reign has been marred by controversy. He has lost three of his last four, but all three losses came with some level of controversy, including back-to-back split decision losses. Yan vowed to erase any doubt by finishing Dvalishvili, an elusive grappler who could lock up his first UFC title shot if he wins his ninth straight.
Yan is a -240 favorite ($240 risk to win $200), while Dvalishvili is back at +200 in the latest UFC Fight Night: Yan vs. Dvalishvili odds from Caesars Sportsbook. In the co-main event, versatile heavyweight prospects square off as Alexander Romanov (-155) takes on Alexander Volkov (+130). Before locking in any UFC Fight Night: Yan vs. Dvalishvili, be sure to check out SportsLine analyst Daniel Vithlani’s MMA predictions and betting tips.
Vithlani is a highly analytical UFC player who has earned more than $6,200 for $100 punters in 2022. That includes a proven record of 24-14 in his respectable, two-foot company. Each choice was documented on his public Instagram account.
From breaking down film and following fighters and their camps up close, to watching sharp action and betting market signals, Vithlani covers the gamut of the MMA betting landscape from top to bottom. He also trains amateur boxers and regularly speaks with MMA fighters to understand the nuances of the sport.
In his SportsLine debut at UFC 283 in January, Vithlani swept the main card and his 5-0 record included tips for SportsLine members to back Jamahal Hill (-125) over Glover Teixeira (+105) for the vacancy lightweight title in the main. Event. Anyone who has followed him has seen huge returns.
Now, with UFC Fight Night: Yan vs. Dvalishvili in sight, Vithlani scoured the card top to bottom for value and rolled out MMA’s top picks. Vithlani’s UFC Fight Night picks are available only on SportsLine.
UFC Fight Night: Yan vs. Dvalishvili preview
Countless MMA observers believed that Yan (16-4) would be a dominant and long-term champion once he captured the title. The 30-year-old Russian brawler won his first seven UFC fights and won the vacant title by defeating former champion Jose Aldo at UFC 251 in July 2020.
But his misery has been a rollercoaster ever since. In his first defense at UFC 259 in March 2021, Yan appeared to be on his way to a dominant victory against Sterling before being disqualified for an illegal knee.
Sterling was then sidelined for the next 14 months due to injuries sustained in the match, and Yan won the interim title with a split decision against Cory Sandhagen. The Russian eventually lost a rematch against Sterling last year before dropping a widely contested split decision to polarizing Sean O’Malley last October.
Even so, despite losses in three of his last four, Yan’s No. 2 ranking shows that his UFC stock has hardly diminished and he will likely win back the title with an impressive outing on Saturday.
Dvalishvili (15-4) has quietly climbed the UFC ranks in a jam-packed division where upward movement is hard to come by. The 32-year-old Georgian fighter presents a nightmare stylistic matchup for most opponents, especially traditional strikers like Yan.
Dvalishvili uses a combination of speed wrestling and grappling to nullify his opponent’s offense and win rounds with time control. Dvalishvili is capable of being stopped, but has just three knockouts and one submission on his record, while his other 11 wins have come by decision. You can see just who to pick on UFC Fight Night on SportsLine.
UFC Fight Night Predictions
We’ll share one of Vithlani’s UFC Fight Night picks here: He lines up with Ryan Spann (+145) to get the best of Nikita Krylov (-165) in a fight with rising light heavyweight contenders. This fight was supposed to be the main event of a UFC Fight Night two weeks ago, but Krylov fell ill on the day of the fight and the fight was rescheduled for Saturday.
Krylov (29-9) is a 10-year UFC veteran widely regarded as one of the most versatile fighters in the division. The 31-year-old has shared the cage with some of the biggest names, but has historically held his own against world-class competition. His resume includes losses to former champions such as Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira.
Spann (21-7) has seen his stock rise on the strength of wins in three of his last four, finishing in all three. The 31-year-old Memphis native defeated former title challenger Dominick Reyes at UFC 281 in November.
“Span’s footwork is scary and has shown to be a problem to deal with as well. The veteran Krylov has looked in great form recently and is a tough, unorthodox striker. Krylov may be the better fighter overall, but the Spahn is the most dangerous fighter,” Vithlani told SportsLine. See who else is back here.
How to make UFC Fight Night picks
Vithlani has locked in strong picks for Yan vs. Dvalishvili and other bouts on the UFC Fight Night card. He also backs a fighter who is “a hot prospect and a fighting phenom” to come away with a dominant victory. Vithlani’s MMA picks and analysis are available only on SportsLine.
Who wins UFC Fight Night: Yan vs. Dvalishvili? And how exactly does each match end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks for every fight on UFC Fight Night, all from the MMA expert who earned more than $6,200 in 2022 and find out.
UFC Fight Night odds, fight card
Check out our full UFC Fight Night picks, predictions and best bets here.
Petr Yan (-240) vs. Merab Dvalishvili (+200)
Alexander Romanov (-155) vs. Alexander Volkov (+130)
Nikita Krylov (-165) vs. Ryan Spahn (+145)
Ricardo Ramos (-365) vs. Austin Lingo (+285)
Said Nurmagomedov (-235) vs. Jonathan Martinez (+195)
Davey Grant (-140) vs. Raphael Assuncao (+120)
Victory Henry (-140) vs. Tony Gravely
JJ Aldrich (-365) vs. Ariane Lipski (+285)
Sedriques Dumas (-205) vs. Josh Fremd (+175)
Bruno Silva (-190) vs. Tyson Nam (+160)
Karl Williams (-220) vs. Lukasz Brzeski (+180)
Mario Bautista (-1,000) vs. Guido Cannetti (+650)