Sources: Pavlovich-Blaydes close for April 22


The UFC is finalizing a heavyweight matchup between Sergei Pavlovich and Curtis Blaydes to headline an event on April 22, multiple sources told ESPN.

The promotion has not announced the heavyweight fight or a location for the UFC Fight Night event, however both sides have agreed to a five-round main event per sources.

Pavlovich (17-1), of Moscow, has been on a tear since losing his UFC debut in November 2018. Following that loss to former title challenger Alistair Overeem, Pavlovich has rattled off five consecutive first-round knockouts, including wins over Tai Tuivasa and Derrick Lewis.

Blaydes (17-3) has won three in a row, and has posted an overall mark in the UFC of 12-3. His only losses inside the Octagon have come against former heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou (twice) and Lewis. Other than that, he has been dominant in the UFC and has fought in the main event in five of his past six appearances.

Originally from Illinois, Blaydes, 32, now fights out of Elevation Fight Team in Denver.

Pavlovich and Blaydes are the UFC’s Nos. 3 and 4 ranked heavyweights, respectively.

The UFC’s heavyweight title is currently vacant, as the promotion was unable to come to terms on a new contract with Ngannou earlier this year. Former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane will square off for the vacant title at UFC 285 on March 4.

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