UFC Vegas 71 Pavlovich vs. Blaydes Best Bets: Will Main Event Make It Past Round 1?

Sergei Pavlovich Derrick Lewis heavyweight bout UFC 277
Sergei Pavlovich celebrates after knocking out Derrick Lewis in the first round of their heavyweight bout during UFC 277. Carmen Mandato/Getty Images/AFP.

Picks Summary

  • Pavlovich vs. Blaydes: Fight Starts Round 2 (-135) at Betway
  • Tavares vs. Silva: Fight Goes The Distance / No (-140) at Bet365

Fans of the UFC are gifted with a heavyweight banger of a main event this weekend as top-ranked competitors Curtis Blaydes and Sergei Pavlovich will throw heavy leather inside the octagon.

Bruno Silva and Brad Tavares will trade blows in an equally entertaining co-main event, and we’re happy to share the betting value we’ve found for these showcase bouts at UFC Vegas 71.

Sergei Pavlovich vs. Curtis Blaydes

UFC Vegas 71 Heavyweight Main Event Bout

Saturday, April 22, 2023 – 08:50 PM EDT at UFC Apex

Since joining the UFC roster in 2018, Sergei Pavlovich (17-1-0) has provided five monstrous victories. The Russian knockout artist can be forgiven for his promotional debut TKO loss to Alistair Overeem; he was just 25 years old, after all, and facing a former multi-promotion champion in “The Reem” must have been overwhelming for a debut bout.

Five years later, Pavlovich has rectified our doubts and won five consecutive fights – all with KO/TKO stoppages in the first round.

However, UFC vet Curtis Blaydes (17-3-0) won’t be intimidated. And contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t own a weak chin just because Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis have previously knocked him out.

The wrestling background of Blaydes is the perfect match for current champ Jon Jones, and a dominant victory over a top contender on Saturday would undoubtedly position him into the title picture.

Pavlovich vs. Blaydes: Fight Tape Analysis

Many believe Blaydes is susceptible to heavy hitters because of knockout losses to Lewis and Ngannou. But once you look at the broader picture, his chin has survived countless knockout artists, including Mark Hunt, Alistair Overeem, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Junior dos Santos, just to name a few.

If Blaydes implements a wrestling game plan early and often, it’s simple to visualize him draining the tank of Pavlovich that’s pretty much untested in terms of longevity. We know the Russian can devastate his opponents in the first round, but can he handle a grappling, heavy fighter like Blaydes if the fight heads into deep waters?

Pick and Prediction

The UFC odds have Blaydes as a reasonably sized betting favorite, but the value can be found in betting this fight to start round two.

It might be a sweat because both men can deliver round-one stoppage wins. But we’re banking on Blaydes’ ability to make the first five minutes an exchange of wrestling technique.

UFC Pick: Fight Starts Round 2 (-135) [1.18u returns 1u profit] at Betway

Brad Tavares vs. Bruno Silva

UFC Vegas 71 Middleweight Co-Main Event Bout

Saturday, April 22, 2023 – 08:25 PM EDT at UFC Apex

Brad Tavares (19-7-0) has been kicking butt and cashing checks in the UFC octagon since 2010. He introduced himself to the Ultimate Fighting Championship fan base via The Ultimate Fighter 11 season, and behind a 14-7 promotional record garnered ever since, he’s become a household name you can rely on to fight for your betting dollars.

Opposite Tavares this Saturday evening will be the Brazilian sharpshooter Bruno Silva (22-8-0). Outside of Israel Adesanya, he’s the only fighter that gave Alex Pereira a run for his money. And with three UFC victories on his record, all those contests were achieved via KO/TKO.

Tavares vs. Silva: Fight Tape Analysis

Brad Tavares is a well-versed fighter that can mix up his striking and grappling offense. However, he does lean towards a striking offensive for the most part. Over recent years, he has displayed a relaxed deminer that’s assisted 7 of his previous 10 bouts going to the judges’ scorecards.

Bruno Silva is the polar opposite; he leaves it all in the octagon and doesn’t waste time with a kill-or-be-killed attitude. Impressively, 19 of Silva’s pro-MMA bouts have been achieved with KO/TKO stoppages, and 6 of his 7 losses resulted in submission defeats.

Pick and Prediction

The UFC odds show value on this fight ending inside the distance, thanks to Tavares’ history of going all three rounds.

We can capitalize on the fact that Silva will leave openings for Tavares while headhunting for the finish. Power is present in the hands of both fighters. If he doesn’t finish the fight early, the fight should open up for his opponent to grab a TKO stoppage.

UFC Pick: Fight Goes The Distance / No (-140) [1.40u returns 1u profit] at Bet365

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