UFC & MMA Betting
Pavlovich vs Blaydes Prediction: Get Ready for Fast and Furious
UFC Vegas 71 is set for this weekend, with a (literal) heavyweight main event to match.
This weekend, Russia's Sergei Pavlovich takes on fellow star Curtis “Razor” Blaydes in a matchup with potentially huge implications for the division. Read on to find out why, as well as who we think wins this mammoth main event matchup in our Pavlovich vs Blaydes prediction.
Pavlovich vs Blaydes Prediction: The Background
Coming into this APEX-based matchup, both fighters are on an absolute tear.
Curtis Blaydes is the slight betting favourite coming into this, with most odds having him hovering around -165. Sergei Pavlovich is a slight betting underdog, hovering around +140/150. Both fighters come into this fight on the back of big scalps, too; Pavlovich decimated Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa in just 54 seconds last time out, whilst Curtis Blaydes picked up an impressive (albeit unfortunate) TKO win over Tom Aspinall at UFC London.
Both fighters currently sit in the top 5 (No. 3 and 4 respectively), and you would be a much braver man than I to argue that they are underserving. Pavlovich is currently riding the wave of a five fight win streak, whilst Blaydes is riding a 3 fight win streak.
So, how does all of this feed into our Sergei Pavlovich vs Curtis Blaydes prediction?
Sergei Pavlovich Preview: Russian Looking to Prove He's the Real Deal
Sergei Pavlovich has long been touted as a very real threat to the heavyweight crown. His last five victories (the aforementioned wave of dominance he is currently riding) are all first round KOs. If that doesn't tell you the story, nothing more will. Sergei Pavlovich is DANGEROUS.
Critics are quick to make the argument that said victories are not impressive. They argue that the quality of Pavlovich's opponents are… inferior. Derrick Lewis has been on a downward spiral for a couple of years now, and Tai Tuivasa got obliterated in Paris the fight before by Ciryl Gane. The other three opponents are no longer part of the UFC.
Notwithstanding this criticism, the southpaw slugger is a massive threat to whomever stands across from him. Anyone making a Pavlovich vs Blaydes prediction needs to take into account that at 6′ 3″, and with an 84in reach, Sergei Pavlovich is a mammoth task to face, both literally and metaphorically.
Curtis Blaydes Preview: Can Razor Cut His Way to a Title Fight?
A man with a nickname like “Razor” only gets said nickname for very good reason. Curtis Blaydes has an extremely impressive UFC resumé, with notable victims including Mark Hunt, Junior Dos Santos and Alastair Overeem. It's definitely fair to say that Blaydes often does not get the credit that he deserves.
When Chael Sonnen is adamant that you are the toughest match for the current champion, it is the highest level of praise. Even in his last outing, which ended far too prematurely against Tom Aspinall, Curtis Blaydes looked very. very good. His wrestling ability and pedigree is beyond reproach. He has cannons for hands. Put all of this together and you have one extremely dangerous, motivated fighter.
It is clear that Curtis Blaydes is a man who is on the hunt for a UFC title shot, and a big performance on Saturday would almost certainly do that for him.
What are the implications of this fight?
The implications of this fight cannot be overstated.
With No. 3 and 4 facing off, the winner likely forces themselves into a title shot with a big performance. What is equally fascinating is that each man is the kryptonite of the other. Curtis Blaydes' only recent loss (THAT Derrick Lewis KO) is indicative of what Pavlovich is capable of. Pavlovich's boxing is easily some of the very best in the division.
Furthermore, Pavlovich's hands are not only heavy, but fast, too; Blaydes needs to keep his head on a swivel, or he risks getting said head knocked off.
Speaking of Blaydes, he too has the stylistic antidote to Pavlovich.
Pavlovich got taken down by Alastair Overeem on his UFC debut, and let's just say it….didn't end well. Pavlovich's potential wrestling deficiencies are an area you should absolutely expect Blaydes to exploit. And at 6'4″, weighing 265lbs, the pure, raw power of Blaydes' takedowns are impossible for nearly anyone to stop.
Sergei Pavlovich vs Curtis Blaydes Prediction: Takedown or Knockout, This One End Early
Our Pavlovich vs Blaydes prediction boils down to is whether Blaydes can get the takedown without getting knocked out in the process.
On the ground, “Razor” can slice through nearly anyone in his path, but his boxing is nowhere near what Pavlovich bring. The longer the Russian can keep this fight as a kickboxing match, the more dangerous this fight becomes for Curtis Blaydes.
On the flip side, if Blaydes can get the takedown off against Sergei, it is a tough task for him to get back on his feet again. Expect the first round to be a very edgy, feeling-out contest between the two, with the second round to bring much more fireworks.
One could argue this fight either way, but the most likely scenario (in my opinion) is that Blaydes takes Pavlovich down, and simply doesn't allow him back up again.
Blaydes will be looking to make a statement here, and he might just do that. Our Curtis Blaydes vs Sergei Pavlovich prediction is that Blaydes finishes this fight with a second round TKO on the ground. Curtis Blaydes could make a serious statement on Saturday, and position himself firmly within the UFC title picture.