UFC Vegas 71: Pavlovich vs. Blaydes Best Prop Bets
UFC VEGAS 71: PAVLOVICH VS. BLAYDES BEST PROP BETS – The UFC is home at the Apex this weekend for a bout between heavyweight contenders. Sergei Pavlovich and Curtis Blaydes will enter the octagon Saturday to see who deserves to be the third-ranked heavyweight in the UFC. They will highlight the main card, which begins at 7 p.m. EDT, with the prelims starting at 4 p.m. EDT on ESPN+.
Sergei Pavlovich is 17-1 in his career, with his only loss coming in his UFC debut against Alistair Overeem in 2018. He has an 84-inch reach and will hold a four-inch reach advantage over Blaydes in this bout. He is entering this fight following knockout victories over Tai Tuivasa and Derrick Lewis.
Curtis Blaydes is 17-3 with one no-contest in his career, and two of his losses came against Francis Ngannou. His last victory came against Tom Aspinall, who unfortunately injured his knee during the fight.
Blaydes to Win by KO/TKO -115
The deciding factor in this fight is wrestling. Blaydes is a tremendous wrestler, and Pavlovich is arguably the hardest puncher in the UFC.
Since entering the UFC, Pavlovich has not made it out of the first round, with the only loss coming when he was on his back. That was in 2018, so he has undoubtedly become better since then, but Blaydes is an elite MMA wrestler. Blaydes averages 6.05 takedowns landed per 15 minutes and has displayed much better striking in his recent fights. He must be wary of Pavlovich’s power, as he only needs one punch to end the it.
Pavlovich averages 8.07 significant strikes landed per minute and absorbs 4.30 strikes per minute. Blaydes averages 3.54 strikes and absorbs 1.70 strikes per minute.
The reach advantage could become a problem if he does not get this to the mat, but he should be able to land a takedown. It becomes less of a problem if Pavlovich is on his back, and Blaydes has shown himself to be proficient while on top.
Blaydes to Win by KO/TKO in Round 2 +550
Pavlovich has been a first-round knockout artist for his previous five fights, but he must take his time against Blaydes. If he rushes in too quickly, he leaves himself exposed to a well-timed takedown.
Blaydes must be cautious of Pavlovich’s power and not force takedowns without showing some threat on the feet. This fight could start slowly, with both men staring at each other, but it could be over instantly after the action begins.
If Blaydes does secure a takedown, Pavlovich should put up a fight in the first round, but his cardio comes more into question as the bout extends.
Wrestling is exhausting, and wrestling in a live MMA fight is even more exhausting, and Blaydes has much more experience doing this. It is the best-value knockout prop for the Blaydes side.
Blaydes to Win by Submission +900
Something that is always a possibility when the fight goes to the ground is getting caught by a submission.
Blaydes has not submitted anybody in his career, but that does not mean he cannot choke Pavlovich. Pavlovich wants the fight to remain standing and will immediately attempt to work his way to his feet if he gets taken down. If he tries to take shortcuts and exposes his back while trying to stand, Blaydes will take advantage. Nobody on the roster wants to stand with Pavlovich for long, and a chance to finish the fight is a gift.
The most likely path to victory for Blaydes is via ground-and-pound finish, but a small wager on this prop is worth it to cover all angles.