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Petr Yan prepares for a bantamweight fight against Urijah Faber during UFC 245 and we look ahead to the UFC Vegas 71 main event with our top odds and Yan vs. Dvalishvili pick.
Petr Yan prepares for a bantamweight fight against Urijah Faber during UFC 245. Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images via AFP.

Saturday's UFC Fight Night card pits a pair of top-five bantamweights when former champion Petr Yan squares off with Merab Dvalishvili. Here are our UFC picks based on the odds from our best sportsbooks.

Although UFC gold no longer occupies his waist, there’s an argument to be made that Yan is still the best 135-pounder on the planet. Embroiled in a two-fight losing streak, “No Mercy” dropped a pair of controversial split decisions to Sean O’Malley and current kingpin Aljamain Sterling, and will likely need a couple more quality victories before he’s tossed back into the title mix.

Conversely, Dvalishvili is riding high on an eight-fight winning streak, with his latest triumph coming at the expense of Jose Aldo in what turned out to be the featherweight’s swansong. A statement victory over Yan would likely vault “The Machine” into the bantamweight title picture.

With that in mind, here are our best UFC bets for Yan vs. Dvalishvili at UFC Vegas 71 (odds via DraftKings; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Yan vs. Dvalishvili pick

Yan (-245 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Quite simply, Yan is the better fighter and the one to target in your UFC best bets for Saturday's Fight Night card. Dvalishvili’s path to victory involves dragging Yan to the mat and grinding him down into fine dust. Don’t get me wrong, the streaking Georgian is quite adept at yanking his opponents into deep waters with smothering top control, but I don’t think he’ll be able to do that for five rounds against Yan.

Yan is a fine defensive wrestler (90% takedown defense), and he’ll use that to stay upright while unleashing his superior striking to piece Dvalishvili up on the feet. The Russian lands strikes at a higher volume (5.31 significant strikes landed per minute compared to Dvalishvili’s 4.21), with more accuracy (53% to 40%), and I expect him to outwork Dvalishvili over 25 minutes en route to a decision victory.

Sure, there’s a possibility Dvalishvili relentlessly clinches and hunts for takedowns until he completely exhausts Yan in the later rounds, but the former champion is no stranger to five-rounders, and he’ll likely have enough juice to stay ahead on the scorecards.

Yan vs. Dvalishvili best odds

DraftKings (-245)

DraftKings FanDuel BetMGM Caesars PointsBet
Petr Yan-245-255-263 -265-260
Merab Dvalishvili+205+210 +210 +215 +210

There isn’t much difference in odds from sportsbook to sportsbook. If you’re looking to back Yan, you’ll definitely want to head to DraftKings, at which you can grab him at -245.

Those craving an upset can snag Dvashvili as high as +215 via Caesars.

There’s definitely some value in backing the Russian via decision/technical decision (+115 at Caesars). Yan has gone to a decision in three straight bouts, while Dvalishvili has gone to the judge’s scorecards in 14 of his 19 career trips to the cage.

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Yan vs. Dvalishvili fight info

Date: Saturday, March 11, 2023, 6 p.m. ET (main card)
Location: The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

Yan-Dvalishvili pick made 03/09/2023 at 4:00 p.m. ET

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