What’s next for Sergei Pavlovich and Curtis Blaydes after UFC Vegas 71?

By Cole Shelton - April 24, 2023

In the main event of UFC Vegas 71, a battle of top-five heavyweights went down as Sergei Pavlovich took on Curtis Blaydes.

Sergei Pavlovich

Pavlovich was riding a five-fight win streak and was coming off a 54-second TKO win over Tai Tuivasa. Prior to that, he picked up a 55-second TKO win over Derrick Lewis and also knocked out Shamil Abdurakhimov in the first round. Blaydes, meanwhile, was on a three-fight win streak as he had previously beat Tom Aspinall after the Brit tore his knee just seconds into the fight.

Ultimately, it was Pavlovich winning by first-round TKO as Blaydes decided to stand with him early on and got rocked a few times before being finished. Now, after UFC Vegas 71, here is what I think should be next for both fighters involved in the main event.

Sergei Pavlovich

Sergei Pavlovich entered the UFC with a ton of hype but some of that got derailed as he was dominated by Alistair Overeem. He then followed that up with back-to-back first round knockout wins over Marcelo Golm and Maurice Greene. Yet, he then didn’t fight for three years and came back with first-round knockout wins over Shamil Abdurakhimov, Derrick Lewis, and Tai Tuivasa.

In his first UFC main event, Pavlovich came out strong and landed heavy shots on Blaydes and didn’t allow ‘Razor’ to wrestle. After landing some heavy shots he got the TKO win which is the biggest win of his career. Yet, Pavlovich is now in a weird spot as he says he will wait for a title shot but Jones-Miocic is targeted for November.

Pavlovich could serve as the backup fighter and wait to see what happens in the title fight. But, if he is going to take a fight, a logical next opponent is Ciryl Gane. The Frenchman has not fought since losing to Jon Jones at UFC 285.

Curtis Blaydes

Curtis Blaydes now appears to be a gatekeeper at heavyweight as he has lost to Sergei Pavlovich, Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou (x2). The Pavlvoich and Lewis losses were really tough setbacks, as had he won either of those, a title fight would have likely come next.

Now, after the loss at UFC Vegas 71, Blaydes will need to take a step back and likely win three or four in a row before getting into a title eliminator. The most logical fight for Blaydes is to take on Serghei Spivac who is ranked eighth and coming off a win over Lewis. It’s a step down and a guy that isn’t known for his KO power and it’s a good step-up in competition for Spivac.

What do you think should be next for Sergei Pavlovich and Curtis Blaydes after UFC Vegas 71?

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Curtis Blaydes Sergey Pavlovich UFC