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Here’s everything that happened at UFC Vegas 71 last night | Blaydes vs. Pavlovich

Last night (Sat., April 22, 2023), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) traveled to UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, for UFC Vegas 71. As if often the case with Apex cards, Heavyweights carried the headliner, but this time around, it was actually a good match up! Curtis Blaydes and Sergei Pavlovich represent the best of the upcoming generation of Heavyweight contenders, and surely a title shot was on the line. Though the loss of Song Yadong vs. Ricky Simon to next week’s card hurts, there were still some fun veterans and heavy hitters to keep the night interesting.

Let’s take a look at UFC Vegas 71’s standout performances and techniques:

UFC Fight Night: Pavlovich v Blaydes Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Pavlovich Proves Himself

Sergei Pavlovich hits so damn hard.

Curtis Blaydes was genuinely the cleaner striker in the first 90 seconds. Moving from his back foot, he stung Pavlovich with several right hands from his back foot, the same kind of shot that stopped Chris Daukaus. Unfortunately for “Razor,” the gap in hand speed and pure power was extremely significant, even recognizing Blaydes’ considerable power.

Pavlovich’s jab was the deciding factor. Both men landed jabs, but Pavlovich’s jabs shook Blaydes’ knees. Blaydes has a proven excellent chin, but each Pavlovich jab landed sent him stumbling backwards. The Russian pursued the finish patiently, always showing the uppercut to discourage Blaydes from fully committing to his takedown attempts.

Blaydes couldn’t stand with Pavlovich, not in the first round at least. He also couldn’t really get a hold of him, leaving him at the mercy of the division’s heaviest hitter, who set a record with his sixth straight first-round knockout win.

Get the man in the cage with Jon Jones, ASAP!

UFC Fight Night: Tavares v Silva Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Bruno Silva Bounces Back!

Bruno Silva’s loss to Gerald Meerschaert was a bad defeat.

That’s not a knock on “GM3,” who’s an excellent finisher and has taken out some quality names. Had Meerschaert ducked under a punch, jumped the back, and strangled Silva, it wouldn’t have been such a big deal. The problematic aspect of the loss was that Silva — fresh off going toe-to-toe with Alex Pereira and finding success — was thoroughly picked apart by the submission ace. He looked slow and sloppy, getting rocked multiple times en route to the submission defeat.

It was the kind of loss that widely removed all confidence in Silva’s ability. After this rebound win over Brad Tavares, however, it feels more fair to chalk that defeat up to an off-night. He looked sharp against the veteran striker, landing some big counter shots before turning one clean connection into a swarming stoppage victory.

He took some hits in the process as well, wearing them without issue. Silva looked like the “Blindado” of old, and it’s great to have him back!

UFC Fight Night: Glenn v Giagos Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Giagos Sleeps A Veteran

Rick Glenn is one of those tough, hard-nosed fighters who’s been around forever. The former World Series of Fighting (WSOF) champion has never broken into the rankings since joining the UFC, but he’s a consistently difficult out for all of his opponents, recently taking top Lightweight prospect Grant Dawson to the brink in a majority draw.

All this is to say that Glenn is skilled, durable, and experienced, which is why it’s so impressive that Christos Giagos was able to knock him out in the very first round. Giagos isn’t really known as a knockout puncher either, but he just became the first man to crack Glenn’s jaw in over 30 professional fights.

The wrestler came out aggressive, weaving forward with huge power punches. Glenn engaged, but a Giagos left hook connected perfectly to the temple, and he’s back in the win column as a result!

UFC Fight Night: Yahya v Jackson Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Additional Thoughts

  • Montel Jackson defeats Rani Yahya via first-round knockout: This was pretty much a picture-perfect victory from Jackson, who became the first man to stop Yahya since Joseph Benavidez did it in 2009. Still, I don’t feel like it’s a fight that needed to happen. Jackson is a massive Bantamweight with legitimate wrestling and huge power riding a win streak. Conversely, Yahya is kind of small and nearly 40. It felt like a miserable match up for the Brazilian, and sure enough, Jackson shut him down easily then cracked him with a perfect left hand to end things.
  • Brady Hiestand defeats Danaa Batgerel via third-round TKO: It’s not every day you get to see a fighter physically deflate as their gas tank runs up on empty. Batgerel was easily in control of the first two rounds, winning the stand up consistently and appearing to be on his way to an easy decision win. Instead, his pace started to falter, and when Hiestand managed to gain top position, he had no real resistance to offer. The strikes that forced the finish were kind of wimpy, but otherwise, it was a great rally for the young prospect.

For complete UFC Vegas 71: “Blaydes vs. Pavlovich” results and play-by-play, click HERE.

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