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We have a pair of knockout artist clash, as Derrick Lewis takes on Sergei Pavlovich. A loser of two of the last three fights, Lewis comes into this bout needing to get back on track. Not quite out of the title picture, Lewis though will have to protect his fifth spot in the rankings against the eleventh ranked Pavlovich. A Russian slugger, Pavlovich comes into this bout on a three-fight win streak. While that streak started back in 2019, Pavlovich has peaked the interest of the UFC and has a huge opportunity to climb into the top ten of the division.
Not a fight expected to go to the scorecards, we should be in store for a vicious finish. Lewis is a heavy handed striker, who’s thirteen knockouts inside the octagon are the most in UFC history. Boasting physical strength, Lewis has utilized that by escaping bad positions and landing a takedown once in awhile. An area where he can be downright scary, as his ground-and-pound is devastating. The few holes in Lewis’ game that has hindered him though is his takedown defense, lack of grappling and cardio. However, against a fellow knockout artist in Pavlovich, I don’t see the Russian initiating any wrestling. Especially considering he has yet to land a takedown in the octagon and has won all twelve of his knockout victories in round one. With only one loss on the ledger, which was against Alistair Overeem, it’s to assume that his weakness is on the ground. Other than that, it’s hard to tell.
In a fight that could end on a dime, I’m going to side with the veteran in Lewis. Having the strength and sneaky wrestling abilities in his back pocket, as well as knowing that Pavlovich’s lone loss came when he was taken down, perhaps we see Lewis approach this fight smartly. Otherwise, it’s anyone’s guess who falls first. With that said, hinging on the hope that Lewis looks to wrestle, I predict that the “Black Beast” will win via TKO.