Embed from Getty Images
We have a showdown in the Heavyweight division, as Shamil “Abrek” Abdurakhimov takes on Sergei Pavlovich. Checking in at 10th in the Heavyweight rankings, Abdurakhimov would appear in good standings. However, at 40 years old and on a two-fight skid, Abdurakhimov’s tenure in the UFC may be on the line. Meanwhile, Pavlovich will return to the octagon for the first time since October of 2019. Having seen three fights cancelled due to injury, visa and travel issues, Pavlovich may be a little rusty out there.
As for a prediction, I have Pavlovich winning. Despite the lengthy layoff, Pavlovich is the more trusting fighter at this current stage. While there was a time where Abdurakhimov had looked promising, even at an older age, he has become slower and no longer has the ability to withstand punishment. Whether that’s father time or having faced better competition, both which seem true, predicting Abdurakhimov to win is on hold until further notice. Pavlovich at the very least, is a powerful striker, with a good track record and has a wrestling background. Although he never uses his wrestling, defensively it could come into play against Abdurakhimov. So with all that said, I believe Pavlovich systematically pieces Abdurakhimov up on the feet. Eventually winning via knockout.