Sergei Pavlovich On Quick 1st-Round KO Win Over Tai Tuivasa: ‘I Never Get Ready For A Knockout’

Even Pavlovich did not expect that KO.

Sergei Pavlovich Recaps Knockout Win
Sergei Pavlovich Recaps Knockout Win - Image via @ESPNMMA Youtube
  • Sergei Pavlovich mauled Tai Tuivasa in less than one round at UFC Orlando
  • The Russian is not rushing to get a crack at UFC gold

UFC Orlando was a success with all fights in the main card ending via a finish. Among thos who came out victorious was No. 5 heavyweight contender Sergei Pavlovich, who knocked out Tai Tuivasa in 54 seconds.

That wasn’t the plan

In less than a minute, Pavlovich became one of the most feared heavyweight contenders there is. The Russian didn’t waste time and engaged in an all-out striking war with the crowd favorite Tuivasa.

Pavlovich then landed a devastating right hand that saw Tuivasa wincing in pain and sitting against the cage. The 30-year-old followed it up with more vicious right hand power punches until the referee decided he’d seen enough.

Speaking during his backstage interview, Pavlovich surprisingly confessed that he never intended to knock his opponent out as he always anticipates a three-round match.

“I never get ready for a knockout,” Pavlovich told ESPN MMA. “I always get prepared for three rounds. Here, I saw that there was something that I could capitalize on and I decided that I’m not gonna let him go…I made it work and that’s the fight.”

Different training, same result

Pavlovich was one of the fortunate UFC fighters who have been enjoying the perk of training in one of the most famous MMA gyms in the world, American Top Team. When asked if there were some notable differences in terms of training in the U.S. and in Russia, Pavlovich said it’s “very different” but the quality of the training itself is pretty much the same.

“The training partners and the camps are good both in Russia and here,” Pavlovich assessed. “It’s just that it’s very different. Here, in American Top Team and Russia, it’s very different, we work different stuff but they’re both very good. It’s not that I prefer one over the other.”

What’s next?

The spectacular win over Tuivasa will see Pavlovich taking a step closer to title contention. However, he’s not thinking about it at this point and he’s letting everything come into its place in the right time.

“All in its time. It’s like stairs, step by step. Everything has to take its time.”

As it stands, Pavlovich now has a 17-1 record and has gone unbeaten in his last five trips to the Octagon. Tuivasa, meanwhile, is 14-5 in pro MMA and has now lost two consecutive fights against two top contenders in the heavyweight division, Ciryl Gane and now Pavlovich.

Jon Jones’ highly-anticipated heavyweight debut is still the most talked about fight in the division, but with Pavlovich making great strides, it shouldn’t be long before his name gets thrown in the title fight conversation.

Published on December 4, 2022 at 11:46 am
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