Ex-bantamweight champion Petr Yan is expected to face Merab Dvalishvili in a five-round main event fight scheduled for a UFC Fight Night card taking place at The Theater in the Virgin Hotel in Las Vegas on March 11.
Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Wednesday with verbal agreements in place, although no contracts have been issued or signed at this time. The Las Vegas Review-Journal initially reported the matchup.
Yan returns to action in March after suffering back-to-back losses in his most recent fights after falling to current UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling and then dropping a razor-close split decision to Sean O’Malley this past October. Now the Russian born bantamweight looks to get back on track while facing one of the fastest rising contenders in the entire division.
The fight gives Dvalishvili the opportunity to potentially secure a future title shot, although he’s stated numerous times that he won’t face Sterling, his longtime friend and teammate.
Yan and Dvailishvili headline the first ever UFC card at the Virgin Hotel in Las Vegas with the venue touting a capacity crowd of up to 4,600 people for a live concert, although it’s unknown how much that number will change for a sporting event.
Mike Heck contributed to this report.