UFC Vegas 71 goes down this weekend at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. In the main event, rising heavyweight contender Sergei Pavlovich takes on long-time contender Curtis Blaydes.
Pavlovich is currently riding a five-fight winning streak with as many first-round finishes, whereas Blaydes is currently on a three-fight winning streak, most recently beating Tom Aspinall at UFC London. Pavlovich is considered the next big thing in the UFC heavyweight division, whereas Blaydes has a point to prove of his own.
UFC Vegas 71: Analysis And Prediction
Pavlovich is one of the hardest-hitting heavyweights in the UFC. With an incredible 84-inch reach, the Russian touches his opponents from a distance, without taking much damage in return. Pavlovich has a boxing-heavy style, and he’s a high-volume striker, who lands more than eight significant strikes per minute on average. Pavlovich likes to throw looping hooks and combinations.
Blaydes is different in that regard as he mostly throws straight punches, such as the jab. A major part of his game is his level changes, feints, and jabs. Blaydes has a simple and low-energy striking style, but he’s very effective with it. Blaydes also makes good use of his low kicks to put his opponents off their game.
Pavlovich has a background in Greco-Roman wrestling and Combat Sambo, but we haven’t seen him put his grappling on display inside the Octagon. He likes to keep the fight standing. Blaydes is a terror on the mat. He averages six takedowns per 15 minutes with a fifty percent accuracy. He is very technical and patient, and once he gets the fight to the mat, he punishes his opponents with vicious ground and pound. On the mat, Blaydes will have a significant edge.
Pavlovich hasn’t fought past the first round in his UFC career, so cardio and experience can play a crucial role if the fight goes past the first or second round, especially with Blaydes’ relentless takedown attempts. Blaydes has the experience, cardio, and fight IQ to neutralize one of the biggest threats in the heavyweight division, and he will derail the Russian hype train come fight night.
Prediction: Curtis Blaydes by TKO
Sergei Pavlovich (+140)
Curtis Blaydes (-165)
Who do you think will win the heavyweight main event between Sergei Pavlovich and Curtis Blaydes?