UFC Las Vegas: Yan vs. Dvalishvili Predictions, Analysis, and Free Picks
Official Selections: 66% (+17.92 Units) | YTD Premium (All) Picks: 53-30 (64%, +6.1 units)
After stumbling out of the gates last week, we finished the card on a 4-1 (+7.22 units) run, ending at +5.12 on the night for our fourth straight profitable card.
Here is what that full card looked like for paid subscribers:
As far as the losses go; the Basharat/Blackshear ITD read had its chances, especially in the third round, and Turner at nearly 2/1 losing by a split decision definitely felt like the right side.
Premium subscribers, who received a selection on every single fight went 9-4 on the night, improving to +6.10 units on the year.
With another PPV card around the corner next week, I’m offering free subscribers who convert to an annual (rolling 12 months) premium subscription 25% off (
$100 $75) if you donate $10 or more to one of my favorite charities, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
Location: The Theater at Virgin Hotels, Las Vegas, NV
Prelims: 3:00 PM EST - ESPN+
Main Card: 6:00 PM EST - ESPN+
Finally, we get a free UFC fight night that’s not at the Apex. Instead, the promotion will take its talent across town to The Theater at Virgin Hotels for a sold-out 5,000+ people-filled theater. And we don’t just get a main event of Petr Yan vs. Merab Dvalishvili, but the rescheduled main event from a few weeks ago between Nikita Krylov and Ryan Spann.
As far as free cards go, it’s hard to complain about the quality of this one, which in part should make up for how awful the last few have been. With 13 fights currently scheduled, let’s jump straight into the spots I’m on as we look to make it five straight winning Saturdays.
Victory Henry vs. Tony Gravely
With a combined 59 professional fights between them, this pair of bantamweights has seen a lot inside a cage, and I expect that experience to show through here.
For Henry, his marquee win as a professional came two fights ago vs. Raino Barcelos, a decision win at UFC 270; his first PPV. The last time we saw him in the ring was also a decision result, that time a loss to Raphael Assuncao in October of 2022. In his only two UFC appearances, Henry is on a run of three decisions in his past four fights, with his only ITD being a submission win in October of 2021.
He’ll likely avoid the grappling route here against Gravely, a well-rounded American Top Team product with seven UFC fights under his belt. Like Henry, the higher-level the opponent the more hesitancy we’ve seen, as he comes in with two of his past three going the distance.
Add in an average fight time of 2.56 rounds, and I think there’s value in this one seeing all three full rounds.
Pick: Fight to go the Distance - Yes (-150 at BetUS) to risk 1.5 units
Sedriques Dumas vs. Josh Fremd
The number has certainly run away on us in this spot, but I still think there’s value in Dumas.
This is another spot, and we’ve seen a lot lately, of the UFC earmarking a guy (Dumas), and giving him a relative layup in his first fight. While this is still a fistfight, and anything can happen, Fremd has lost his first two fights in the UFC and three of his last five overall. Coming into this one having struggled in grappling is going to be just the problem the UFC is likely looking for there.
In Dumas’ seven professional fights so far, six have ended inside the distance, including his DWCS appearance in the first minute (guillotine choke). The first-round win was actually the fourth of his career, with his other two finishes coming just inside of two rounds.
With this fight in front of 5,000 fans, expect Dumas to make a statement with an early finish, almost certainly by submission.
Karl Williams vs. Lukasz Brzeski
From what I’ve seen of these two, as far as heavyweights go, it doesn’t get much more boring.
Starting with Brzeski usually begins with a slow pace, waits for his opponent to attack, and then plays defense over the later rounds. As we saw in his first fight in the UFC in August, that approach typically doesn’t work at this level. The decision was his third in his past five fights dating back to 2019.
For Williams, his last fight was his first at heavyweight, making the move up from a career at light heavyweight to grind out a decision win. While he’s solid on the ground, his striking defense really stands out, absorbing just .07 strikes per minute with a striking defense of 91%.
In a fight likely both fighters are approaching with the game plan to rack points and play cautiously, I like for this one to breeze into the third round.
Pick: Total Rounds - Over 2.5 (-125 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 1.25 units
Victor Petrino vs. Anton Turkalj
Both of these light heavyweights are products of DWCS, with Petrino appearing in the latest season in a KO win over Rodolpho Bellato. I remember it well, as it resulted in him dishing out one of the most vicious knockouts that I can ever remember seeing in the series’ history.
The finish was sixth in seven professional fights (all wins), with all six coming inside two rounds (four in the first). Though he has not been pressed on the ground much, he does come in with a 66% takedown defense; though I don’t think we see Turkalj take it there.
Turkalj came into UFC’s focus in July via DWCS, winning his bought via decision against a 14-4 opponent, but failing to get his contract. He then stepped on relatively short notice to fight Jailton Almeida at UFC 279 in September, losing in the first round via submission.
Though I wouldn’t have laid the opener of -170 for as many units, I love the value at this price on a fight Petrino likely gets done inside the distance.
Pick: Victor Petrino (-110 at FanDuel Sportsbook) to risk 3.3 units
Nikita Krylov vs. Ryan Spann
The following is an excerpt from when I initially broke this fight down a few weeks ago before it was postponed. I still like the read, and we’re getting it at a cheaper price than before.
“With a combined 90% of these two’s (primarily three-round) fights ending inside the distance, I think it’s safe to say this five-round affair will do just that.
On paper, Krylov has the edges in the striking department, albeit slightly, with 4.45 significant strikes landed per minute (vs. 3.42), striking accuracy of 55% (vs. 44%), and a few shots absorbed per minute at 2.5 (vs. 3.42). Even on the ground, while Spann holds a slight edge in submission average at 1.76 (vs. 1.24), Krylov has edges in both takedowns and takedown defense.
While both guys come in with two-fight win streaks, a deeper dive into their fight history is the difference for me.
For Spann, his two wins come against guys in Dominick Reyes and Ion Cutelaba, who in a combined 10 fights since 2019, have just one victory. Though Kyrlov’s wins don’t exactly come against top guys in Alexander Gustaffson and Volkan Oezdemir, they certainly carry more weight.
In terms of being battle-tested, it’s hard to beat Krylov’s track record, facing the likes of Johnny Walker, Jan Blachowicz (c), Glover Teixeira (c), Magomed Ankalev, and Paul Craig in his first four years with the promotion.
I think this step is too big for Spann, as Krylov takes it in the second or third rounds.”
Pick: Nikita Krylov - Inside the Distance (-110 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 1.1 units
Petr Yan vs. Merab Dvalishvili
This could easily headline a PPV card, as a pair of top-three bantamweights go at it in what should be a terrific main event. There’s always an extra edge to fight when there’s genuine animosity between the two, and there’s plenty of it here.
I’ll let you watch those interviews, but I’m not going to drag this out with a narrative I don’t think plays much into the handicap other than it makes the fight more entertaining.
Now to that handicap.
Let’s start with Yan.
Having now lost three of four fights, that may be the most misleading seven words I’ve ever typed in a fight breakdown. His first of those losses came in a title defense against Aljamain Sterling, a fight he was winning before an illegal knee while Sterling was down.
After picking up a decisive win over Cory Sandhagen, seven months later, Yan got his rematch against Sterling, losing a controversial split decision. And then his egregious split decision loss to O’Malley in October, which I don’t have enough time in the week to go on about. Those three guys have a combined record of 49-7 and include the current champ and #1 contender.
As for Merab, while it’s a stretch to say he’s undeserving of his #3 ranking, his fight history reads far less impressive. Last beating an over-the-hill Aldo in August, Merab’s three prior wins came against Marlon Moraes, Cody Stamann, and John Dodson; all three largely UFC journeymen with a combined record of 63-22.
The stats also favor Yan, with edges in knockdowns (8x), significant striking, and takedown accuracy. While he does trail in submissions and takedown averages, his 90% takedown defense is amongst the best in the division.
I like for Yan to get the job done here, likely by a decision as he adjusts to Merab’s style of fighting.
Pick: Petr Yan (-250 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 5 units
BMP of the Week (Beer Money Parlay) sponsored by BetUS
Gravely/Henry - Fight to go the Distance - Yes (-150 at BetUS) to risk 1.5 units
Sedrique Dumas (-180 at BetUS) to risk 3.6 units
Sedrique Dumas Wins by Submission in Round 1 (+700 at BetUS) to risk .5 unit
Williams/Brzeski Total Rounds - Over 2.5 (-125 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 1.25 units
Victor Petrino (-110 at FanDuel Sportsbook) to risk 2.2 units
Nikita Krylov - Inside the Distance (-110 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 1.1 units
Petr Yan (-250 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 5 units
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All Fights - Picks w/ Confidence Levels & Modeled Odds
YTD Record: 53-30 (64%, +6.1 units)*
*All bets are one unit
All Fights - Dashboards (not found above)
*All odds as of the day of posting.