UFC Vegas 71: Sergei Pavlovich Dreamed Of Having Face on UFC Poster, Very Happy with Result

Russian heavyweight Sergei Pavlovich is finally fighting in Las Vegas, finally competing in a main event, and finally closing in on a shot at the UFC heavyweight title.

Should all go his way this Saturday at UFC Vegas 71, where Pavlovich (17-1) faces Curtis Blaydes, he could very well be fighting for gold next. The Russian rides a five-fight win streak, all finishes, and has knocked off (and out) names including Derrick Lewis and Tai Tuivasa.

Ahead of his star turn, Pavlovich told members of the media on Wednesday that he was “feeling great about it. Finally we get a poster with my face on it. I’ve been dreaming about a poster for a long time. Other than that, I’m ready for the fight, I’m excited, I’m looking forward to it.”

And that poster? “Great poster,” was Pavlovich’s appraisal. “Super.”

Following his win over Tuivasa, the Russian heavyweight expected a big fight, so the news that he was fighting Blaydes came as no surprise. “We understood that they were going to give me somebody who was top-ranked, ahead of me. The news was good for me, I understood that and I was ready for it.”

The end result for the #3 ranked fighter in the weight class is that he expects Saturday to be “a great show,” and “a great fight.”

“There’s going to be two fighters in there that are not going to be willing to back down. Nobody’s trying to give the other person a chance, everybody’s fighting for the same goal. So I think it’s going to be a fun fight, I think it’s going to be an interesting fight, and everybody who tunes in is in for a show.”

As for Blaydes’ wrestling, “what can I say about it? We’ll have a fight, we’ll see if he takes me down or not.”

Should a title shot come with a win over Blaydes, of course, the question is who Pavlovich might be fighting for a title. That is very much up in the air, as Jon Jones circles a fight with Stipe Miocic while suggesting that might lead to retirement.

“Right now I’m thinking and concentrating only on the fight ahead of me,” Pavlovich said on that front.

Watch the full UFC Vegas 71 media day appearance by Sergei Pavlovich above.