Chael Sonnen suggests that Petr Yan's attack on Merab Dvalishvili was a deliberate chop to the throat

Petr Yan and Merab Dvalishvili’s upcoming UFC Fight Night 221 main event showdown took an ugly turn at the ceremonial weigh-ins. The two bantamweights constantly ribbed each other in the build-up to fight night but it all boiled over in their customary face-off.

Watch Yan shoving Dvalishvili below:

The former bantamweight champion lashed out at Dvalishvili with his right palm in what seemed like a push. However, former UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen believes there was more to the strike.

He said on his YouTube channel:

“Petr Yan and Merab, there was a push. This is as bad as I’ve seen, this is as bad of a push as I have ever seen. They’re up there on the stage, Merab’s going off at him. When you’re that close to a guy, you can sense it. And Yan is starting to break and you can see it on his face. And then he goes to push him, he’s got an open hand. Very important that the thumb is not with the fingers. The thumb was open, like a chop. Right towards the Adam’s apple. If your intent was to push the shoulders, you would know to keep the thumb with the fingers.”

Sonnen also suggested that Petr Yan adopt a heel persona:

“I think, perhaps, he meant to neck chop him. I think perhaps he meant to chop him right in the throat which would make for a very nasty, nasty move. One of the meanest I have ever seen, one of the most inappropriate I have ever seen. I think that Petr Yan might be a bad guy, I mean I’m sensing that from him… I think this guy might be a heel and I think he should go with it.”

Merab Dvalishvili responds to Petr Yan’s shove at the face-off

Merab Dvalishvili took to Instagram to react to Petr Yan’s actions during the face-off.

Dvalishvili explained that he had offered to do a joint interview with Yan and MMA reporter ‘The Schmo’ due to the absence of a press conference. However, Yan backed out after agreeing.

‘The Machine’ also addressed the unprofessional face-off and promised vengeance in the octagon:

“The journalist @theschmo312 reached out and he refused. I approached him myself at hotel and he said no to me this time because he knows he can’t talk man-to-man with me. Then talked trash saying I just wanted to promote myself. He was unprofessional at the face-off and again wouldn’t look at me man-to-man and throw his arm at me in a sneaky way. See you in the Octagon 🦾”

Check out Merab Dvalishvili’s Instagram post below:

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