02/03/2024

Tai Tuivasa was stopped in the first round by Sergei Pavlovich (Photo: UFC AUSNZ/Twitter)

In a fight with high stakes for the Heavyweight division, Tai Tuivasa (15-5) was quickly stopped by fellow contender Sergei Pavlovich (17-1) in an extremely one-sided encounter.

The loss for Tuivasa marks his second stoppage loss in a three-month span.

The first 20 seconds started at a slow pace with the Russian on the front foot before he landed a huge overhand right on Tuivasa. The Aussie tried to rally back with overhands of his own, but was dropped to the canvas after a cross-jab combination.

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Pavlovich swarmed his opponent with shots as ‘Bam Bam’ tried to keep him off, but it was clear to see that Pavlovich’s shots were more measured and accurate in comparison to Tuivasa through his use of the jab, which was used to stay out of range.

After a second knockdown from the Russian, he would continue to strike Tuivasa against the cage before landing an uppercut that sat his opponent down. Pavlovich landed vicious ground and pound shots before the referee stopped the fight after 54 seconds of action.

The win for Pavlovich makes it his fifth in a row, with all of them coming by a first-round knockout.

The impressive run now puts him in the conversation to be the next fighter in line for a shot at the Heavyweight throne.

However, a potential title shot for Pavlovich would be in question given the situation with Francis Ngannou along with Jon Jones’ inevitable move to Heavyweight.

For Tuivasa, the loss marks his second in a row in a very short span of time, as he was knocked out by Cyril Gane only three months prior. Given that this fight was finished quicker and in a more dominant fashion, Tuivasa may need some time to go back to the drawing board.

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