As Michael Bisping succinctly put it on commentary, Sergei Pavlovich “hits like a monster.”
It takes a special kind of fighter to be able to entirely disregard Tai Tuivasa’s infamously granite chin — but to do it just 54 seconds into the first round? That is something special.
The Russian monster, who is 17-1 in his career (with 14 KOs) takes on what could be his biggest test to date on Saturday when he fights perennial contender Curtis Blaydes at the UFC Apex facility outside Las Vegas in a bout which could have significant ramifications on a heavyweight division now ruled — for now at least — by Jon Jones.
In Blaydes, who is as as dominant a wrestler as there is at heavyweight, Pavlovich will face a stern test of his credentials to make it to the summit of the division. Blaydes has made a habit of ending the runs of prospective contenders on several occasions in the past, as the likes Chris Daukaus and Jairzinho Rozenstruik found out recently to their detrmiment.
But the American’s losses have come to the division’s hardest punchers: Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou x2. And judging by the evidence, Pavlovich belongs in that conversation. See for yourself below.