A clash between heavyweights with terrifying power is featured on the main card on Saturday night when the UFC returns to Dallas for UFC 277. Read on for our Derrick Lewis-Sergei Pavlovich picks.
Having slung heavy leather against the best the heavyweight division has to offer, Derrick Lewis finds himself at a crossroads. At 37 years old with two losses in his past three fights, Lewis needs a win on Saturday night to solidify his place amongst the division’s elite.
Pavlovich, for his part, will try to use Lewis as a stepping stone into the division’s upper echelon. Unlike Lewis, Pavlovich charges into their clash hot on the heels of a scintillating victory, burying Shamil Abdurakhimov under an avalanche of punches and hammerfists in the first round of their bout back at a Fight Night event in March.
Can Lewis hold onto his spot in the top 5, or will Pavlovich put the weight class on notice?
Here are my picks and predictions for UFC 277’s heavyweight showdown between Lewis and Pavlovich (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5 star scale).
Lewis vs. Pavlovich Fight Info
Date/Time: Saturday, July 30, 10 p.m. ET (main card)
TV: ESPN +, PPV
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
Lewis vs. Pavlovich Odds Analysis
A seasoned veteran, Lewis opened as a -115 favorite, but that number has swung completely. Now, the younger, dangerous Pavlovich is a -145 favorite, and Lewis can be snatched up at +115.
With Lewis’ experience advantage against higher-level opponents, and his ability to end a fight with one punch, there’s some definite value in grabbing him at plus money.
Derrick Lewis Betting Profile
Blessed with thundering power in his anvil-laced fists, Lewis hits like a freight train carrying dynamite. There’s no secret what he’s going to do. “The Black Beast” is going to huck bombs at Pavlovich’s chin, and if he’s able to get top control, blast him with heavy ground-and-pound.
Although he’s yet to wrap UFC gold around his waist, Lewis has fought the absolute elite at 205-plus pounds, racking up victories over Curtis Blaydes, Chris Daukaus, Alexander Volkov, and current heavyweight kingpin Francis Ngannou.
I expect Lewis to come out hot and test Pavlovich’s beard early with heavy combinations. If Lewis connects with something nasty, he could fell the towering Russian like a redwood.
Sergei Pavlovich Betting Profile
If Lewis is looking to throw hands, Pavlovich is his huckleberry. Despite being a Greco-Roman wrestler by trade, Pavlovich has used his fists to polish off his last three opponents inside the Octagon, ringing up consecutive first-round stoppages over Marcelo Golm, Maurice Greene, and the aforementioned Abdurakhimov. Twelve of his 15 career victories have come via KO/TKO.
With an 84-inch wingspan, Pavlovich will have a decided reach advantage, and he’s also the superior technical striker. He’ll likely look to patiently pepper Lewis from the outside with stinging kicks and heavy punches.
Lewis vs. Pavlovich Picks
- Lewis (+115 via DraftKings ) ★★★★
- Lewis to win by KO/TKO/DQ (+165 via DraftKings) ★★★★
Lewis vs. Pavlovich Predictions
I have a hard time betting against Lewis’ sheer power. “The Black Beast” throws significant strikes at a lower rate, but he also absorbs fewer strikes than Pavlovich, and I think that’ll be the key. A durable fighter who is almost impossible to wrestle or hold down, Lewis will lull Pavlovich into the pocket where he’ll start unloading some heavy artillery.
Lewis to win by KO/TKO/DQ (+165)
For those backing Lewis, they should expect a violent finish. Perhaps the hardest puncher in the UFC, Lewis’ prodigious power will lift him past Pavlovich. Twenty-one of Lewis’ 26 career victories have been of the TKO/KO variety and Pavlovich is primed to be victim number 22. After being unable to crack Lewis from the outside, Pavlovich will get sloppy and stumble straight into Lewis’ terrifying office. From there, one of Lewis’ bombs will detonate on Pavlovich’s jaw, quickly ending the fight in the opening stanza.
Where to Bet on Lewis-Pavlovich Picks
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Lewis-Pavlovich picks made on 7/29/2022 at 9:14 a.m. ET.