Video: Petr Yan pops Merab Dvalishvili in neck during heated UFC weigh-ins

It looks like Merab Dvalishvili has succeeded in getting under Petr Yan’s skin. The longtime Team Serra-Longo talent looked to make things personal early in fight week with his statement that he wanted to take out Petr Yan as a symbol of his anger of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. “This is personal…

By: Zane Simon | 12 months
Video: Petr Yan pops Merab Dvalishvili in neck during heated UFC weigh-ins
Petr Yan during his bout with Merab Dvalishvili at UFC Vegas 71. | Louis Grasse / ZUMA Wire, IMAGO

It looks like Merab Dvalishvili has succeeded in getting under Petr Yan’s skin. The longtime Team Serra-Longo talent looked to make things personal early in fight week with his statement that he wanted to take out Petr Yan as a symbol of his anger of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

“This is personal for me,” Dvalishvili told reporters during Wednesday’s media scrum. “He’s from Russia, I’m from Georgia, and we all know Russia and what they’re doing to Ukraine now, what they did to Georgia. Russia in politics is not a democratic country. I want to win for my people and I have so much support from my country and Ukraine, too.”

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Yan may have taken extra exception to Dvalishvili’s words since, by all appearances, he has been anything but a vocal supporter of Russia’s military actions. Back in February of last year, Yan posted a symbol of peace to his instagram stories, as a statement against he ongoing conflict.

Whatever Yan’s stance may be, things between the two fighters appear to have gotten pretty testy. During their Friday weigh-ins for their main event battle this week, Dvalishvili started jawing at his Russian foe as the former champion approached to square off. Once Yan turned to face Dvalishvili, he responded to the taunting with a sharp shove to the neck/shoulder area. The two men were quickly separated after that.

UFC Vegas 71 goes down this Saturday, March 11th at the Theater at Virgin Hotels in Paradise, NV. Outside the bantamweight main event the card is expected to feature a top-flight heavyweight bout between Alexander Volkov and Alexandr Romanov, as well as a light heavyweight bout between Ryan Spann and Nikita Krylov.


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About the author: Zane Simon is a senior editor, writer and podcaster for Bloody Elbow. Host of the MMA Vivisection and 6th Round, he has covered MMA and the UFC since 2013.(full bio)

 

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About the author
Zane Simon
Zane Simon

Zane Simon is a senior editor, writer, and podcaster for Bloody Elbow. He has worked with the website since 2013, taking on a wide variety of roles. A lifelong combat sports fan, Zane has trained off & on in both boxing and Muay Thai. He currently hosts the long-running MMA Vivisection podcast, which he took over from Nate Wilcox & Dallas Winston in 2015, as well as the 6th Round podcast, started in 2014. Zane is also responsible for developing and maintaining the ‘List of current UFC fighters’ on Bloody Elbow, a resource he originally developed for Wikipedia in 2010.

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