Curtis Blaydes said he wanted ‘a title eliminator fight’ next, and the UFC gave him one against Sergei Pavlovich.
Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports that the promotion has tapped the pair of top-five heavyweights to serve as the headliner of an upcoming UFC event scheduled for April 22 at a soon-to-be-announced location and venue. Blaydes has since confirmed the report on social media.
Following a second-round KO loss to Derrick Lewis at UFC Vegas 19, Blaydes rebounded with three consecutive wins. ‘Razor’ earned a unanimous decision over Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 266, followed by TKOs of Chris Daukaus and Tom Aspinall at UFC Columbus and UFC London, respectively.
Since suffering the first loss of his professional career — a first-round TKO to Alistair Overeem — Pavlovich has won his past five fights. The Russian fighter has vaulted himself into contention with finishes of notable names such as Shamil Abdurakhimov, Derrick Lewis, and most recently, Tai Tuivasa.
The winner of Pavlovich vs. Blaydes could challenge the winner of the upcoming UFC heavyweight championship fight between Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane, which is set for UFC 285 on March 4 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
With Pavlovich vs. Blaydes as its headliner, the UFC event on April 22 has 11 fights confirmed. The current line-up is as follows:
- Serghei Pavlovich vs. Curtis Blaydes
- Karol Rosa vs. Norma Dumont
- Iasmin Lucindo vs. Melissa Martinez
- Bobby Green vs. Jared Gordon
- Song Yadong vs. Ricky Simón
- Francis Marshall vs. William Gomis
- Priscila Cachoeira vs. Karine Silva
- Brad Tavares vs. Bruno Silva
- Christos Giagos vs. Ricky Glenn
- Danaa Batgerel vs. Brady Hiestand
- Carlos Candelario vs. Rafael Estevam
Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more updates to the event as they become available in the coming months.
About the author: Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016. (full bio)
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