On Saturday, April 22, 2023, live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, Sergei Pavlovich defeated Curtis Blaydes by TKO (strikes), Round 1 – 3:08.

“I appreciate you so much. You have no idea how arduously I was working. I’m hoping for a bonus. Where is my belt, by the way? With the aid of a translator, Pavlovich said, “Big respect to Curtis Blaydes, but some were saying he was going to easily take me down.

Pavlovich rocked Blaydes with a right hand that was partially blocked. The two exchanged powerful punches. Every punch looked like it would knock another heavyweight out. Pavlovich landed another right hand that briefly dropped Blaydes. Following a leg kick from Blaydes, Pavlovich landed a jab that appeared to hurt Blaydes. Pavlovich backed up Blaydes who was able to survive and had his takedown attempt stuffed. Blaydes looked at the clock and saw more than two minutes remaining as Pavlovich continued to land his jab.

The finish started with an uppercut that again hurt Blaydes. Pavlovich continued unleashing a combination that dropped Blaydes. With Blaydes attempting to cover up, Pavlovich landed several powerful punches. Referee Marc Goddard stepped in and stopped the fight.