Off the back of his stunning UFC Vegas 71 knockout win over Curtis Blaydes last weekend, surging heavyweight contender, Sergei Pavlovich has once more been tipped to pose a legitimate challenge to heavyweight kingpin, Jon Jones’ throne.

Pavlovich, who moved to #2 in the official heavyweight rankings off the back of the new update this week, headlined UFC Vegas 71 over the course of the weekend against perennial division contender, Blaydes, landing a one-sided first round TKO triumph.

The victory moved the Russian to 18-1 as a professional, and extended his winning streak to six consecutive fights, following an Octagon debut knockout loss of his own against Alistair Overeem back in 2018. 

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Enjoying a roughshod run through top-tier heavyweight contenders over the last year, before his knockout win over Blaydes, Sergei Pavlovich, a former M-1 Global heavyweight gold holder stopped the duo of Derrick Lewis and Tai Tuivasa – both inside the opening minute of the first round.

Sergei Pavlovich touted as legitimate threat to champion, Jon Jones

Tipped to lay in wait for his shot at heavyweight gold ahead of an expected title affair between the aforenoted, Jones, and former champion, Stipe Miocic, Pavlovich has been touted as a danger to the current champion’s new reign by boxing expert and renowned coach, Teddy Atlas.

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“[Sergei Pavlovich] showed why he’s a force to be reckoned with, and showed why, for me – I’d love to see him with Jon Jones,” Teddy Atlas said on his YouTube channel. “That would be very interesting. He’s got the physical strength and the ability, and seems like he’s developed enough technique to make it interesting in the striking department with Jones. And he’s got one other thing you can recognize that I think is the most important part.” 

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“He’s mentally tough enough to make it interesting, where [Ciryl] Gane, quite frankly – and I’m not picking on somebody who’s down or kicking someone while they’re down – but Gane wasn’t mentally tough enough. I think he showed that when he lost to [Francis] Ngannou. Jones was good in not only the physical areas, but the mental area. That’s where is separates for me. Pavlovich, I think he would be strong enough mentally, to make it competitive with Jones.” (Transcribed by MMA News)