UFC Vegas 71 First Look: Pavlovich vs. Blaydes Betting Picks, Odds, and Predictions

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Our Top Betting Pick for UFC Vegas 71

UFC Pick: Curtis Blaydes ML (-170) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Curtis Blaydes ML (-170)
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The smaller-sized octagon returns as the Ultimate Fighting Championship is back home for UFC Vegas 71 this weekend, and a clash of heavyweight behemoths will headline the event.

Read on for our complete betting guide with an early preview of the UFC Vegas 71 main event clash between Sergei Pavlovich and Curtis Blaydes, including updated UFC odds and our free expert UFC first-look UFC picks, predictions, and analysis.

UFC Vegas 71 Information

  • When: Saturday, April 22, 2023 – 09:05 PM EDT
  • Where: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Main Event: Sergei Pavlovich vs. Curtis Blaydes [UFC Heavyweight Main Event Bout]
  • Moneyline Probability: Pavlovich – 42% (+138)/Blaydes – 63% (-170)
  • Totals Probability: Over 1.5 – 47.6% (+110)/Under 1.5 – 58.3% (-140)

UFC Vegas 71 Pavlovich vs. Blaydes: Tale of the Tape

Sergei Pavlovich

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Reach: 84.0”
  • Nationality: Russia
  • Affiliation: Eagles MMA Academy
  • Current Streak: 5 wins
  • Pro MMA Record: 17-1-0
  • UFC Record: 5-1 [5 KO/TKOs]
  • Moneyline Betting History (Last 3): -255 (won), -155 (won), -350 (won)

Curtis Blaydes

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6’4”
  • Reach: 80.0”
  • Nationality: USA
  • Affiliation: Elevation Fight Team
  • Current Streak: 3 wins
  • Pro MMA Record: 17-3-0
  • UFC Record: 12-3 [7 KO/TKO, 5 decisions]
  • Moneyline Betting History (Last 3): +120 (won), -510 (won), -350 (won)

UFC Vegas 71 Main Event Profiles

Sergei Pavlovich

Russian MMA hadn’t owned a national prospect in the heavyweight division since the great Fedor Emelianenko. Still, when the UFC signed Sergei Pavlovich in 2018, a similar hype surrounded his name before his debut.

The hype on Pavlovich was instantly squashed as he collided with former UFC champion and Dutch kickboxing standout Alistair Overeem. Following his first professional MMA loss and UFC debut defeat, Pavlovich has since resumed the hype and gained a position in the top-five heavyweight rankings.

How? You might ask – in the most devastating fashion possible, behind five consecutive first-round KO/TKO victories. High-profile names such as Derrick Lewis and Tai Tuivasa were victims of the Russian’s concrete fists, and now he owns the opportunity to position himself in the title picture should he overcome the dynamic style of Curtis Blaydes this weekend.

Sergei Pavlovich Combat Sports Accomplishments

  • UFC Performance of the Night (Three times)
  • Fight Nights Global Heavyweight Champion (One time, one defense)

Sergei Pavlovich Best Moneyline Odds: +138 at BetOnline

Curtis “Razor” Blaydes

It’s been a tumultuous journey for UFC heavyweight Curtis Blaydes. Once tipped as the future heavyweight champion, Blaydes, unfortunately, met his kryptonite in Francis Ngannou, who dented his path toward gold on two occasions.

Derrick Lewis was the next heavy hitter to put Blaydes in his place, but the former All-American wrestler has been unstoppable outside of the aforementioned losses. Most of his professional MMA wins have been inside the UFC octagon, competing at the highest level, and his resume is one to behold.

Aged just 32, Blaydes is young in his heavyweight years, and it could be argued that we’ve yet to witness his prime fighting years. Currently, riding a 3-fight win streak and a 12-3 UFC record overall, championship aspirations are still highly possible, and the skillset he presents is undoubtedly one that could test current titleholder, Jon Jones.

Curtis Blaydes Combat Sports Accomplishments

  • UFC Performance of the Night (Three times)
  • Most takedowns in a fight in UFC Heavyweight division history (14)
  • [Wrestling] NJCAA HWT National Championship (2012)
  • NJCAA All-American (2012)

Curtis Blaydes Best Moneyline Odds: -170 at BetOnline

UFC Vegas 71 Main Event Fight Statistics:

  • Pavlovich lands 8.07 significant strikes per minute.
  • Curtis absorbs 1.70 significant strikes per minute.
  • Curtis lands 6.05 takes per 15 minutes.
  • Pavlovich owns a 66% takedown defense.

UFC Vegas 71 Skillset Analysis: Styles Make Fights

Contrary to popular belief, Curtis Blaydes doesn’t own a weak chin. Yes, it was tested by Ngannou and Lewis. Still, when you look at the broader picture, he’s avoided knockouts from some of the world’s hardest punchers in 12 UFC bouts – some of which involved menacing knockout artists such as Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Junior Dos Santos, Mark Hunt, and Alistair Overeem.

We know the M.O. for the “Razor” that is wrestling. And he doesn’t just utilize his wrestling background to keep his opponents grounded; he delivers brutal ground and pound from these positions and has had huge success using this game plan throughout his career.

Despite owning a background in combat sambo, Pavlovich has heavily relied on his knockout power during his MMA tenure thus far. Whether at the range or inside the pocket, expect the Russian to headhunt as he has done in five consecutive bouts that were all stopped in five minutes.

The biggest question is, can Blaydes land the takedowns? I believe he can, and if that’s the scenario on Saturday, he will sail to victory, whether via TKO, submission, or a decision from grounded position dominance.

A standing battle isn’t favorable for the favorite. Still, his chain wrestling and explosive blast doubles are so impressive it’s hard to envision the Russian defending these attacks consistently – Especially when we’ve witnessed Overeem manage to take Pavlovich down from a plum-clinch trip and have his way.

Fig: The UFC Vegas 71 Best Bet Formula

The UFC odds favor Blaydes, and rightfully so. While the knockout threat Pavlovich owns is very real, skillset-for-skillset, Blaydes is the more diverse and more experienced at a higher level out of the two.

I anticipate a wrestle fest that will eventually leave Pavlovich gasping for air, and with Blaydes on top, a TKO finish won’t be far away.

UFC Pick: Curtis Blaydes ML (-170) at BetOnline [1.70u to win 1u]

UFC Vegas 71 Main Card & Odds

UFC Vegas 71 Preliminary Card & Odds

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.