“Give this man his title shot”: Fans go wild after Sergei Pavlovich KO’s Curtis Blaydes in first round at UFC Vegas 71

On Saturday, Sergei Pavlovich headlined his first UFC fight card against Curtis Blaydes in the main event of UFC Vegas 71, with both fighters vying for a potential title shot. The 30-year-old Russian delivered an outstanding performance, securing a first-round knockout win over Blaydes.

Ranked one spot above Blaydes at No. 3 in the heavyweight division, Pavlovich dominated his opponent with strikes, ultimately stopping him at 3:08 of the first round.

Throughout the fight, Pavlovich appeared to land nearly every hard, thudding shot with precision, tallying a total of 36 strikes and inflicting significant damage on Blaydes.

Sergio Pavlovich

“Big respect to Curtis Blaydes; he’s great,” said Pavlovich, who is 18-1. “But someone was saying he was going to easily take me down. What do you have to say now?”

Blaydes made a last-ditch effort to take down Pavlovich, but by that point, he was already in serious trouble, and the Russian easily defended the attempt. From the start, Pavlovich had been rocking Blaydes with his jab, making it clear that the finish was only a matter of time.

Sergei finishes off in style 

The finishing sequence began with a powerful right uppercut from Pavlovich that wobbled Blaydes. Followed by a jab that hurt him even more.

With his back against the cage, Blaydes couldn’t defend himself against Pavlovich’s combination, which ultimately dropped him. Referee Marc Goddard intervened and stopped the fight.

This victory earned Pavlovich the distinction of being only the third fighter ever to defeat Blaydes in an MMA fight. Prior to this loss, Blaydes had only been defeated by Francis Ngannou (twice) and Derrick Lewis. Both of whom are renowned for their devastating knockout abilities.

The MMA community was impressed by Pavlovich’s remarkable performance and expressed their admiration on social media following his victory. Some fans even called for a potential fight between the 30-year-old Russian and current heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

Who’s next for Sergei Pavlovich?

Pavlovich, who has now achieved six first-round knockout victories in the UFC. He now has a legitimate claim for a UFC title shot following his recent win over Curtis Blaydes.

The 30-year-old was even the back-up fighter for the heavyweight title bout between Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane at UFC 285. However, Jones is expected to face former UFC champion Stipe Miocic for his first heavyweight title defense.


If this fight does not materialize, Pavlovich would make an excellent opponent for Jones.

What are your thoughts regarding the fight. Let us know in the comment section below. 

Sami Haider

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Sami Haider is a UFC/boxing journalist who connects combat sports to pop culture. His deep passion for the UFC started in 2018, triggered by the UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor fight. He is a passionate writer who has a profound love for the sport and the skills that are used in it. Through his work, Sami aspires to connect combat sportsmen and their enthusiastic fans.


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