Mark RaimondiESPN Staff WriterRead in 2 minutes
The UFC has a new heavyweight knockout king.
Sergei Pavlovich defeated Curtis Blaze by TKO at 3:08 in the first round on Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas. Pavlovich has his sixth consecutive KO/TKO win in his first round, breaking his current UFC record. He is his second in line with Don Frye for his most consecutive KO/TKO stops in UFC history, behind only Chuck Liddell.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Pavlovich averaged just 2 minutes and 23 seconds in the Octagon, the shortest of any heavyweight in the UFC.
“Hey, where’s my belt?” Pavlovich said through an interpreter in the post-match interview.
A title shot could certainly be next. Coming in, ESPN ranked Pavlovich No. 3 in the world at heavyweight and Blaise No. 4.
Champion Jon Jones is set to face former champion Stipe Miocic later this year, though a date has not yet been set. Pavlovich could line up for the winner or face another contender rather than wait.
The big question about Saturday’s fight was whether Pavlovich could stop Blaise’s takedown. Blaydes is an excellent wrestler with his own knockout power. But Pavlovich quickly answered it. Blaydes didn’t even go for a takedown until he was injured in a Pavlovich combination.
“Kudos to Curtis Blaze,” Pavlovich said. “He’s great. But someone said he could easily beat me. What are they saying now?”
Pavlovich initially hurt Blaise with a right overhand and dropped him. Then he got closer. He staggered Blaise with a jab, followed by an uppercut and a big combination. A right hand knocked Breides down for good and Pavlovich continued punching to the ground until referee Mark Goddard stopped the bout.
Pavlovich (18-1) knocked out Tai Tuivasa in 54 seconds. The Russian-born fighter lost his UFC debut to Alistair Overeem in 2018 and hasn’t lost since. Pavlovich, 30, is a former heavyweight champion in his global promotion of his Knights of the Russian Fight.
Blaydes (17-4, 1 NC) have won three in a row. The Chicago native had only lost to Power his puncher Francis Ngannou (twice) and Derrick his Lewis before his UFC career. At 32, his Blaydes has only lost by KO/TKO as a professional.