Sergei Pavlovich expecting first-round finish streak to come to end against Curtis Blaydes: “He knows the stakes”

By Josh Evanoff - April 20, 2023

UFC heavyweight contender Sergei Pavlovich is hoping to earn a win on Saturday, but he knows it won’t come easy.

Sergei Pavlovich, UFC, Bonus

The Russian has been out of action since his clash with Tai Tuivasa in December. In that outing, Pavlovich scored a first-round knockout win, his fifth in a row. In that stretch, the heavyweight contender had picked up stoppage victories over names such as Derrick Lewis and Shamil Abdurakhimov.

He’s now slated for his first UFC main event this Saturday against Curtis Blaydes. ‘Razor’ enters the contest riding a three-fight winning streak, last defeating Tom Aspinall by stoppage in July. Although it’s his first promotional headliner, Pavlovich is confident that he will secure the win. However, he knows it won’t come as easily as his recent outings.

For his part, Curtis Blaydes has stated that he plans to sit out for a title shot if he picks up a win over Sergei Pavlovich. While the Russian isn’t sure if he will down the same, he does believe that Saturday’s fight is a number one contender bout. With that being the case, Pavlovich is expecting Blaydes to fight cautiously.

In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Sergei Pavlovich discussed his return. There, he admitted that he doesn’t expect to finish ‘Razor’ in round one, as he’s planning on being patient. However, he does expect to leave the octagon with a win this weekend.

Tai Tuivasa, Sergei Pavlovich, UFC Orlando, UFC

Sergei Pavlovich discusses UFC Vegas 71 main event against Curtis Blaydes

“Patience will be key,” says Sergei Pavlovich, speaking through a translator in the interview. “I can’t foresee the future, but I don’t think this will end in the first round. Curtis knows the stakes, too. There is a potential title shot on the line… Some people may think I can’t wrestle, but that’s not true. I can do more than just striking. This is mixed martial arts, I’ve researched my opponent and I am ready.”

He continued, “In order to advance, you need to face the best competition. I’m very hungry, I trained, I prepared. This is the most important fight of my career, I can’t wait to get in the cage and get it done.”

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Curtis Blaydes Sergey Pavlovich UFC UFC Vegas 71