UFC Las Vegas went down last night (Sat., March 11, 2023) inside The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada, which saw Merab Dvalishvili pitch a shut out against Petr Yan (recap here). In further action, Alexander Volkov knocked our Alexandr Romanov in the first round (highlights), while Nikita Krylov submitted Ryan Spann, also in the opening frame.
Winner: Merab Dvalishvili
Who He Should Face Next: Sean O’Malley
Dvalishvili won his ninth straight after shutting out Yan for 25 minutes. But, his win puts him in a tough predicament because his teammate, Aljamain Sterling, currently holds the title and is in line to face Henry Cejudo at UFC 288 in May. If Sterling wins, then Dvalishvili will have to wait to see if Sterling moves up to Featherweight to give him the chance to fight for the 135-pound strap. If Cejudo wins, then Dvalishvili could have a shot for a title fight. However, Sean O’Malley is sitting at No. 1, so I would make that fight next to see who gets the next title shot.
Winner: Alexander Volkov
Who He Should Face Next: Serghei Spivac
Volkov earned his second straight technical knockout win in the first round after stopping Romanov, a big win that will inch him closer to the Top 5. Up next, a fight against Serghei Spivac may be in order. Spivac is currently sitting at No. 7, while Volkov is at No. 8. Spivac is riding a three-fight win streak and is also eying a move into the Top 5, so the winner could accomplish that goal.
Winner: Nikita Krylov
Who He Should Face Next: Jan Blachowicz rematch
Krylov just keeps trucking along and securing big wins, submitting Ryan Spann in the first round to win his third in a row. He previously defeated Volkan Oezdemir and Alexander Gustafsson. A rematch against Blachowicz (No. 3) kind of makes sense because the Polish bomber holds a win over Krylov from 2018. Aleksandar Rakic (No. 4) is still out of commission with an injury, and Anthony Smith (No. 5) and Johnny Walker (No. 7) are set to throw down in a few months. This is the only reasonable fight to book.
Winner: Jonathan Martinez
Who He Should Fight Next: Chris Gutierrez vs. Pedro Munhoz winner
Martinez picked up a huge win, defeating Said Nurmagomedov, so he can expect to crack the Top 15 after picking up his fifth straight victory. Gutierrez (No. 13) and Munhoz (No. 9) are set to collide next month, so I would like to see Martinez get the winner of that fight to improve his position in the rankings, assuming he gets in after his big upset win.
Winner: Mario Bautista
Who He Should Face Next: Davey Grant, perhaps?
Bautista picked up his fourth straight win, defeating Guido Cannetti via first round submission. Given how stacked the 135-pound division is, he may need another win to crack the rankings. As for Grant, he was also a big winner last night, submitting Raphael Assuncao on the undercard via an ultra-rare reverse triangle (see it here). Grant has won two straight and he would like a spot on the main card in his next outing. A matchup against Bautista could warrant that.
Winner: Vitor Petrino
Who He Should Face Next: Nicolae Negumereanu
Petrino remained undefeated (8-0, 1-0 UFC) after out-classing Anton Turkalj to earn a unanimous decision in his UFC debut. It’s always tough to match up a fighter coming off a successful debut, but I am feeling a fight against Negumereanu — who is coming off a loss to Carlos Ulberg — which snapped his four-fight win streak. While some may say Negumereanu has a lot more experience with six UFC fights under his belt, it’s a decent challenge for both men.
For complete UFC Las Vegas: “Yan vs. Dvalishvili” results and play-by-play, click HERE.