Two top-ranked bantamweights in Petr Yan(16-4) and Merab Dvalishvili(15-4) will headline at UFC Vegas 71 event.
The report comes from Las Vegas Review-Journal. UFC Vegas 71 will be UFC’s first event at Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, NV. It will take place on March 11, 2023.
Earlier, Jamahal Hill vs Anthony Smith Light Heavyweight bout was supposed to headline this event. However, Jamahal Hill was later offered a bout for UFC Light Heavyweight title at UFC 283 against Glover Teixeira.
Petr Yan, former UFC Bantamweight Champion, is coming off two back-to-back split decision losses. The Russian Fighter lost the bantamweight title unification bout to Aljamain Sterling at UFC 273 before losing to Sean O’Malley at UFC 280.
Yan won the vacant UFC Bantamweight title after beating José Aldo at UFC 251 in July 2020, after Henry Cejudo vacated the title. He lost it to Sterling at UFC 259 in his first defense due to an illegal knee strike. Yan then won the interim title at UFC 267 by beating Cory Sandhagen when Sterling was unavailable to defend the title due to surgery.
Merab Dvalishvili comes into the bout on the back of an impressive 8-fights winning streak after losing his first two bouts in UFC. Since the start of 2021, Dvalishvili has wins over Cody Stamann at Fight Night in May 2021(via unanimous decision), Marlon Moraes at UFC 266(via TKO) and José Aldo at UFC 278(via unanimous decision).
This run has seen Dvalishvili take the #3 spot in the UFC Bantamweight rankings. Despite his last two losses, Yan still remains the #2 ranked bantamweight fighter.
UFC Vegas 71 will also see fights like Łukasz Brzeski vs Karl Williams, Mario Bautista vs Guido Cannetti, JJ Aldrich vs Ariane Lipski and Kyler Phillips vs Raphael Assunçâo.