Pavlovich entered the bout ranked third in the division while Blaydes was ranked fourth. Both men were looking to move a step closer to a title shot with a win.
Blades used his jab to try and keep Pavlovich on the outside. Both men connected during an exchange in the middle of the cage. Pavlovich stepped in with a right hand that knocked Blaydes down, but Blaydes immediately bounced back to his feet. Pavlovich landed a stiff jab that wobbled Blayes. Blaydes fired back and remained on his feet.
Pavlovich connected with another stiff jab that bounced Blaydes’ head back. He landed a right hand that had Blaydes out on his feet. Blaydes fell to his knees and the referee stepped in to prevent Blaydes from taking more damage. The end came at 3:08 of the first round.
Pavlovich was the backup fighter for the Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane title fight at UFC 285. “Where’s my belt,” he said after the win on Saturday.
“Big respect to Curtis Blaydes. He’s great, but, hey, someone was saying that he was going to easily take me down. What are you going to say now.”
The Russian will now look to get a title shot against Jon Jones and set up a gigantic Heavyweight matchup