The UFC heavyweight battle between the strongest striker and the strongest wrestler takes place. 

Sergei Pavlovic (30, Russia) and Curtis Blaze (32, USA) 메이저놀이터 will face off in the main event of ‘UFC Fight Night: Pavlovic vs Blaze’ held at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on the 23rd (Korean time). 

Blaze is one of the best wrestlers in the UFC heavyweight division. He recorded a total of 62 takedowns and held the top position for a total of 1 hour and 6 minutes. All of which are overwhelmingly the #1 in UFC heavyweight history. A former National College Athletic Association (NJCAA) champion, her main weapon is the double leg takedown using overwhelming power.   

Against this, Pavlovic is the strongest striker in the UFC heavyweight division. He is hitting 8.07 blows per minute and is averaging 6.67 knockdowns per 15 minutes. He is the fighter who hits the most times in UFC heavyweight history, and every single shot is heavy. 

All of his last 5 fights ended in first round KO (TKO) victories.   

But there is an element of anxiety. Wrestling and ground defense. Pavlovic lost by TKO after being taken down by Alistair Overeem (42, Netherlands) in her UFC debut match. 

So the key to this match is whether Pavlovic can block the Blaze’s takedown. 

“My wrestling is a big problem for other fighters,” said Blaze. If he doesn’t think so, he doesn’t understand mixed martial arts (MMA). The ability to take a fight to the ground whenever I want puts a lot of mental pressure on my opponent.” 

Pavlovic’s base is Greco-Roman wrestling. He practiced wrestling for 12 years, starting at the age of five. In his UFC debut, he struggled with wrestling, but he thinks it was just octagon jitters that rookies often suffer from. 

“We will fight soon,” Pavlovic said. So we’ll see soon whether he can take me down or not.” 

The winner of this match is likely to be the next UFC heavyweight title contender. Pavlovic is ranked #3 in the heavyweight division, and Blaze is #4. With 5 consecutive wins and 3 consecutive wins, respectively, the winner is qualified. 

Current UFC heavyweight GOAT (greatest player in history), former champion Stipe Miocic (40, USA), is supposed to challenge champion Jon Jones (35, USA). 

The Blaze made no secret of their title shot ambitions. He said, “If I win this time, I will wait (for the title shot). It doesn’t matter who the opponent is. Whether it’s Jones, Miocic, or Brock Lesnar, I’ll wait.” 

On the other hand, Pavlovic said, “I don’t want to get too ahead of myself. I will focus only on the game given in front of me now.” 

In the co-main event, Korean-American fighter Brad Tavares (35, USA) clashes with Bruno Silva (33, Brazil) in the middleweight division. 

Tavares is a descendant of Koreans who migrated to Hawaii in the early 20th century.  

The UFC Fight Night: Pavlovic vs. Blaze main card will be broadcast live on TVING and tvN SPORTS from 8:00 am on Sunday, April 23.  

■ UFC Fight Night: Pavlovic vs Blaze Match 

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