Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari – Zuffa LLC
A UFC heavyweight clash between the #3 ranked division contender, Sergei Pavlovich, and the #4 rated challenger, Curtis Blaydes, is reportedly slated to take main event honors at a UFC Fight Night event on April 22. At the time of publication, an official billing, location, or venue for the card has yet to be determined by the organization.
In the midst of a five-fight winning run which includes five consecutive knockout victories, former Fight Nights Global heavyweight champion, Pavlovich most recently landed a dominant, 54-second knockout win over Tai Tuivasa at UFC Fight Night Orlando last December. The victory earned Pavlovich a Performance of the Night bonus.
Sergei Pavlovich books his first UFC main event outing
Himself riding an impressive three-fight winning run, Blaydes, the current #4 ranked contender, most recently headlined UFC Fight Night London in July of last year against Tom Aspinall, securing a 15-second TKO win after the latter suffered a knee injury. ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto confirmed Sergei Pavlovich’s return against Curtis Blaydes.
“Main event, April 22. No. 3 ranked Sergei Pavlovich vs. No. 4 ranked Curtis Blaydes. High stakes at heavyweight. Early predictions?”
17-1 as a professional, Rostov Oblast native, Pavlovich’s sole professional loss came in the form of a first round ground strikes TKO defeat to common-opponent, Alistair Overeem at UFC Fight Night Beijing back in November 2016.
5-0 in his five Octagon outings subsequently, Pavlovich rebounded with a knockout win over Marcelo Golm, before then finishing Maurice Greene, Shamil Abdurakhimov, and Derrick Lewis – before his knockout win over Tuivasa back in December earned him a spot in the division’s top-3.
17-3(1) as a professional, prior to his TKO win over Atherton native, Aspinall last summer, Elevation Fight Team staple, Blaydes managed to land consecutive triumphs over both Chris Daukaus, and Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
Making his debut against former undisputed UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou in 2016 akin to Pavlovich, in the time since, Blaydes has dispatched the likes of Mark Hunt, Alexander Volkov, common-foe, Overeem, as well as former undisputed heavyweight champion, Junior dos Santos.