UFC Vegas 71 First Look: Yan vs. Dvalishvili Betting Picks, Odds, and Prediction

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Our Top Betting Pick for UFC Vegas 71 

UFC Pick: Yan vs. Dvalishvili – Fight Goes the Distance (-175) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Nevada will host a banger of a main event at UFC Vegas 71 when former bantamweight champion Petr Yan meets rising contender Merab Dvalishvili. 

Read on for our complete betting guide with an early preview of the UFC Vegas 71 main event clash between Yan and Dvalishvili, including updated UFC odds and our free expert UFC first-look betting picks, predictions, and analysis. 

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UFC Vegas 71 Best Bet 

Fight Goes the Distance Reasoning    

With 39 professional MMA bouts combined, Yan and Merab fights have seen just one loss inside the distance.

The wrestling-heavy gameplan of Merab owns the potential to significantly drain the clock while he’s also the most successful decision-fighter in the bantamweight division.

Both men are durable with excellent cardio levels; for these reasons, backing this fight to go the distance at -175 feels like excellent betting value.   

  • Confidence Rating: 3/5   

UFC Vegas 71 Information 

  • When: Saturday, March 11, 2023 – 03:00 PM EST   
  • Where: The Theater at Virgin Hotels 
  • Main Event: Petr Yan vs. Merab Dvalishvili [UFC Bantamweight Main Event Bout] 
  • Moneyline Probability: Yan – 71.3% (-248) Dvalishvili – 31.9% (+213)  
  • Totals Probability: Over 4.5 – 68.8% (-220) Under 4.5 – 35.7% (+180)    

UFC Vegas 71 Yan vs. Dvalishvili: Tale of the Tape 

Petr Yan 

  • Age: 30 
  • Height: 5’7” 
  • Reach: 67.0”  
  • Nationality: Russia  
  • Affiliation: RCC Academy    
  • Current Streak: 2 losses    
  • Pro MMA Record: 16-4-0   
  • UFC Record: 8-3 [4 KO/TKO, 4 decisions]  
  • Moneyline Betting History (Last 3): -285 (lost), -450 (lost), -250 (win) 

Merab Dvalishvili  

  • Age: 32 
  • Height: 5’6” 
  • Reach: 68.0”  
  • Nationality: Georgia 
  • Affiliation: Serra Jiu-Jitsu    
  • Current Streak: 8 wins   
  • Pro MMA Record: 15-4-0   
  • UFC Record: 8-2 [2 KO/TKO, 1 submission, 2 decisions]  
  • Moneyline Betting History (Last 3): -150 (win), -275 (win), -255 (win)  

UFC Vegas 71 Main Event Profiles 

Petr Yan     

It’s been a rough two years for the former UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan, from a controversial disqualification loss in his first title defense against Aljamain Sterling to a split decision loss in the rematch. And then, another split decision was lost to Sean O’Malley, where most media scores believe Yan was the rightful winner. 

Initially tipped as a future GOAT at 135 lbs, Yan has delivered some of the most lopsided fights versus the division’s elite – past and present. Dominating Jimmie Rivera, Urijah Faber, Jose Aldo, and Cory Sandhagen was added proof that his complete skillset would be challenging for any competitors in the division to overcome.  

With controversies and incredibly close fights behind him, we must believe that Yan is out for blood on Saturday night. Behind some of the most precise and technically sound striking offenses in the sport, the product of Russia also boasts a diverse grappling skillset, thus allowing him to dictate where the fight takes place in most of his past bouts.   

Petr Yan Combat Sports Accomplishments   

  • UFC Bantamweight Champion (One time) 
  • UFC Fight of the Night (Three times)  
  • UFC Performance of the Night (One time)  
  • Second longest win streak in UFC Bantamweight history (7)  
  • Tied for the most knockdowns in UFC Bantamweight history (10)  
  • ACB Bantamweight Champion (One time)  
  • ACB Bantamweight Grand Prix Champion (2015)  
  • Master of Sport in Boxing  
  • Master of Sport in Mixed Martial Arts  
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt  

Best Available Odds: Petr Yan ML (-248) at BetOnline 

Merab Dvalishvili     

As one of the rare representatives of the Georgian nation, Merab Dvalishvili has always received overwhelming support from his country of birth. However, starting life in the UFC with back-to-back losses wasn’t the beginning he was looking for.  

However, behind determination, grit, and a passion for evolving his game – even outside of the UFC by competing in regular Sambo tournaments – we’ve watched Merab climb the rankings almost effortlessly as he’s now riding an 8-fight win streak since his last loss to Ricky Simon in 2018.  

Understanding where Merab’s success stems from has been no secret. A strong background in Judo and Sambo has allowed him to dominate most of his opponents by having his way in the grappling department. But surprisingly, when Jose Aldo fended off the takedowns last time out, Merab was able out-strike one of the greatest strikers in UFC history, thus proving the evolution of his game isn’t something oncoming opponents should overlook.    

Merab Dvalishvili Combat Sports Accomplishments   

  • Sambo World Championships Silver Medallist at 68 kg   
  • UFC Fight of the Night (One time)  
  • Most unanimous decision wins in UFC Bantamweight history (6)  
  • Tied for second longest win streak in UFC Bantamweight history (7)  
  • Rise Of Champions Bantamweight Championship (One time)  
  • Black Belt in Judo  

Best Available Odds: Merab Dvalishvili ML (+213) at BetOnline  

UFC Vegas 71 Main Event Fight Statistics:  

  • Petr Yan lands 5.31 significant strikes per minute  
  • Merab lands 4.21 significant strikes per minute  
  • Yan's striking defense is 59%, with the comeback on Merab at 58%  
  • Merab’s takedown average is 6.54 per 15 minutes with an accuracy of 40%  
  • Yan's takedown defense is 90%   

UFC Vegas 71 Skillset Analysis: Styles Make Fights   

Despite overcoming the well-experienced and legendary striking offense of Jose Aldo, the argument can be made that Aldo is at the latter stage of his career. We’ve witnessed many comparisons to Yan and Aldo’s striking skills, but Yan has youth, power, 5-round experience, and vengeance on his side.  

The most notable aspect of Yan's skillset is his ability to switch between offensive striking and wrestling. Yan will own a significant advantage over Merab regarding power and the potential to produce more damage on the feet. And unlike his bout with O’Malley, I don’t think we’ll see much of a grappling game plan from Yan, aside from his excellent defensive attributes.  

Merab went 0/16 on takedowns versus Aldo; Marlon Moraes nearly finished him, and skillset-for-skillset, he’s undoubtedly the lesser polished fighter than Yan. I expect the Russian to defend takedowns without much struggle – similar to Aldo - and then own a significant advantage on the feet, particularly behind his counter-striking skills and the overall damage factor stemming from the boxing combinations on the outside.     

That said, I don’t appreciate the moneyline price on Yan. The good news, when we evaluate the cardio of both fighters, it’s primed for a 25-minute war. Yan and Merab have presented excellent durability, with a combined 39 professional fights that have seen just one stoppage loss.  

Fight Goes the Distance: The UFC Vegas 71 Best Bet Formula  

The available UFC odds at Bookmakers Review favor Yan, but at (-248), I’m not interested in backing the Russian with all that juice.  

Fortunately, a (-175) price tag on this fight going the distance presents excellent value.

Two durable fighters fighting at 135 lbs with excellent cardio and a potential number-one contender position for the winner feel like it could produce a 25-minute war where neither man will surrender to a fight-ending situation.  

UFC Pick: Yan vs. Dvalishvili - Fight Goes the Distance (-175) [1.75u to win 1u] at BetOnline

UFC Vegas 71 Main Card & Odds 

UFC Vegas 71 Preliminary Card & Odds 

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.