UFC 295 Co-Main Event Preview: Sergei Pavlovich – Tom Aspinall

Jul 30, 2022; Dallas, TX, USA; Sergei Pavlovich (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Derrick Lewis (not pictured) in a heavyweight bout during UFC 277 at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow night in the co-main event of UFC 295, we will see an interim heavyweight champion crowned. Two of the baddest men on the planet will square off as Sergei Pavlovich (18-1) will take on England’s Tom Aspinall (13-3) in a battle for the interim heavyweight title.

Originally, Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic were supposed to headline UFC 295 for the heavyweight title. Pavlovich was scheduled to be the backup fighter. However, when Jon Jones tore his pec, the fight was called off. The promotion called Tom Aspinall and offered him an interim title fight with Pavlovich and he jumped at the opportunity.

Since making his UFC debut, Tom Aspinall has gone 6-1 with the lone loss coming via injury when he tore his knee against Curtis Blaydes. In fights where he’s remained healthy, Aspinall is 6-0 with only one fight seeing a second round. He’s incredibly dangerous on his feet, but his jiu jitsu might be some of the best in the heavyweight division.

Sergei Pavlovich lost his UFC debut to Alistair Overeem in 2018. However, after losing his debut, he’s gone on to win six straight fights. However, it’s not just the fact that he’s won six fights, it’s the fact that he’s finished all six opponents in the first round. Two men who are both 6-1 with 12 combined finishes fighting for a piece of the heavyweight crown.

UFC 295 Prediction

The first round is really going to tell me a lot about this interim UFC title fight. I think both men have different advantages on the feet. When it comes to raw punching power, I don’t think it gets much more powerful than Pavlovich. I think he might have the most power in the division.

That said, I expect Aspinall to have the speed and technique advantage. I expect both men to get cracked in the first round, so it’s going to come down to who has the better chin. In a hypothetical where both men can take the other’s best shot, Tom Aspinall has more avenues to win.

We know how good he is on the ground and if he can get Pavlovich down at UFC 295, the Russian is going to be in a lot of trouble. I haven’t seen Aspinall take a shot from a guy like Pavlovich but I’ve also never seen him hurt by strikes. Because of his diverse ways of winning, I just like him in this matchup.

Whether it’s in the first or second, I think he’ll get Pavlovich to the ground and find a submission to earn a piece of the heavyweight title.

Prediction: Tom Aspinall by Submission

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