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Sergei Pavlovich tabbed as backup fighter for Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane at UFC 285

Sergei Pavlovich has been tabbed as the backup fighter for UFC 285’s main event.

This Saturday night in Las Vegas, Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane will go head to head for heavyweight supremacy. The winner of the contest will be crowned the UFC’s heavyweight champion. The title had been vacated by Francis Ngannou in January, as ‘The Predator’ left the promotion to focus on boxing.

Nonetheless, the fight promises to be a historic one. For his part, ‘Bones’ enters the contest off a three-year hiatus, having not fought since his controversial win over Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 in February 2020. Following that win, Jones vacated his light-heavyweight title to move up in weight.

Meanwhile, ‘Bon Gamin’ enters the pay-per-view headliner off a knockout win over Tai Tuivasa last September. That victory was a dominant one and helped him gain momentum after suffering his first career loss to Francis Ngannou that January. While the UFC 285 main event promises to be a spectacle, the promotion has a contingency plan in case anything goes wrong.

Jon Jones, Dana White
Image via @jonnybones on Instagram (photographer not listed)

That contingency plan comes in the form of Sergei Pavlovich. As first reported by Brett Okamoto of ESPN MMA, the Russian will be the backup fighter for this Saturday’s headliner. If anything goes wrong with either Jon Jones or Ciryl Gane, Pavlovich will get the nod.

Holding a professional record of 17-1, he’s coming off a knockout win over Tai Tuivasa in December. That victory was his fifth in a row, all coming inside the first round as well. Pavlovich has also defeated names such as Derrick Lewis and Shamil Abdurakhimov in his current winning streak.

Despite being just six fights deep into his UFC run, Sergei Pavlovich has become one of the most exciting heavyweights on the roster. He’s also garnered praise from names such as Joe Rogan, who have labeled the Russian as the biggest challenge for Jon Jones.

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