In our penultimate fight of the prelims, heavyweight bangers Shamil Abdurakhimov and Sergei Pavlovich butt heads in a fight that could easily see a new HW contender. Shamil is recovering from back to back losses to Curtis Blaydes and Chris Daukaus. Pavlovich is returning from a 3 year hiatus, but rides a 2 fight finishing streak.
Shamil Abdurakhimov vs Sergei Pavlovich Prediction
By all rights Shamil shouldn’t be able to stand with Pavlovich. The striking of Pavlovich is devastating, he’s a first round fighter and goes in there to mercilessly shut your lights out. Sergei has a whopping 84′ reach, which is grossly disproportionate to his 6’3 frame; he has incredible range and can generate immense torque on his punches.
Shamil has struggled with big punchers in his UFC tenure, often resorting to grappling. Shamil’s grappling is his biggest strength, as he mauls opponents on the ground with his immense figure. Because of Pavlovich’s striking, we should expect to see some grappling from Shamil. How does Pavlovich’s grappling compare?
Sergei hasn’t won a single fight by submission, but several by ground and pound. Training out of Eagles MMA Moscow, he’s naturally going to have some great wrestling. In addition to this, his first and only lost to Alistair Overeem came to ground and pound. Since this loss, Sergei will have shown improved ground skills to cover his weakness. If you consider Pavlovich’s striking, improved grappling, and his 11 year age advantage over Shamil, it becomes easy to see how he can win this fight.
My pick – Sergei Pavlovich by KO/TKO
Shamil Abdurakhimov vs Sergei Pavlovich Betting Suggestion
By all rights if Sergei wins it will probably be by knockout, Bet365 has Pavlovich to win by KO/TKO/DQ/SUB at 1/2 odds. 15/2 odds to win by decision is risky but not out of the question. If you’re feeling extra safe, Pavlovich is 1/3 to win out right.
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Read my other predictions for UFC London
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Muhammad Mokaev vs Cody Durden
Cory McKenna vs Elise Reed
Jack Shore vs Timur Valiev
Nikita Krylov vs Paul Craig
Shamil Abdurakhimov vs Sergei Pavlovich
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Jai Herbert vs Ilia Topuria
Molly McCann vs Luana Carolina
Gunnar Nelson vs Takashi Sato
Paddy Pimblett vs Rodrigo Vargas
Arnold Allen vs Dan Hooker
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Mathew is a UK-based combat sports journalist. He currently works for MMA Knockout, part of the Sports Illustrated FanNation network. The Fight Fanatic is Mathew’s one-man operation. His past bylines include Heavy on UFC, Sportskeeda, and MMA UK.
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