UFC 277: Derrick Lewis vs. Sergei Pavlovich Picks

  • Date & Location: Saturday, July 30 @ American Airlines Center in Dallas,  TX
  • Time: Early Prelims (TBA), Prelims (8 p.m. ET), Main Card (10 p.m. ET)
  • How to Watch: Early Prelims (TBA), Prelims (TBA). Main Card (ESPN + pay-per-view)

UFC 277 takes place on July 30 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. The pay-per-view card which streams on ESPN+, features two title fights at the top of the card.

In the main event, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes faces the woman who ended her run at the top of the division, Julianna Pena.

In the evening’s co-headliner, former UFC flyweight titleholder Brandon Moreno faces Kai Kara-France for an interim title, while current 125-pound champion Deiveson Figueiredo nurses injuries to his hands.

Before those fights take place a matchup between two top heavyweights takes place. In that contest, Derrick Lewis, who fights out of Houston, Texas faces Sergei Pavlovich. Lewis is the No. 5 ranked fighter in the official UFC heavyweight rankings, while Pavlovich checks in at No. 11.

Before we look at the matchup between Derrick Lewis and Sergei Pavlovich on the UFC 277 PPV card, check out the picks for UFC 277’s main event and where you can find the best odds on all the UFC fights.

UFC 277 Picks: Derrick Lewis vs. Sergei Pavlovich

Derrick Lewis-127-125-125-125-125
Sergei Pavlovich+107+105-105-105-105

Derrick Lewis vs. Sergei Pavlovich breakdown and analysis

This is the fifth straight fight where the UFC has matched Derrick Lewis against a rising younger opponent. Lewis is 2-2 in those bouts. He has wins over Curtis Blaydes and Chris Daukaus and losses to Ciryl Gane and Tai Tuivasa. Each of those contests have ended via knockout. The 37-year-old Lewis faces 30-year-old Sergei Pavlovich in this bout. Lewis is coming off a loss to Tuivasa. Pavlovich, a former Fight Nights Global heavyweight champion, is on a streak of three straight first-round knockout wins.

Lewis is known as a heavy-handed brawler, but that’s mostly a myth at this point, a myth he leans into. Lewis might have started his MMA career as nothing more than a slugger, but these days he is a talented mixed martial artist, who uses his skills to direct his fights to locations that are favorable to him. He often uses kicks and his size to push his opponent to the fence where he can impose his will in close and land heavy strikes.

Pavlovich had a nearly three-year break between his past two fights. Injuries and visa issues kept him on the sidelines for all of 2020 and 2021. It appears that any visa issues have been dealt with as he makes his first appearance in the US at UFC 277.

Pavlovich is a calm and cautious fighter, with good striking skills and plenty of power. He has a nasty right hand that he throws with speed and accuracy.

Pick: Pavlovich to beat Derrick Lewis

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Betting value with Pavlovich

Let’s get this out of the way. Looking at the history of these two fighters, I would say this one is not going to go the three round distance. Thirty of Lewis’ 36 MMA fights have ended via stoppage and 13 of Pavlovich’s 16 pro bouts have come to an end via knockout.

With this being a heavyweight bout, picking either fighter is not a bad bet. However, I think Pavlovich has age, reach, skill, technique and confidence on his side heading into this heavyweight scrap.

Prediction: Sergei Pavlovich to defeat Derrick Lewis via knockout.

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What’s at stake

For Derrick Lewis, a win keeps him in the mix at the top of the heavyweight division. A victory likely won’t put him in line for a third shot at the heavyweight title, but it won’t hurt his chances either. For Sergei Pavlovich, a win over a name fighter like Lewis will be huge for his career. His March KO of Shamil Abdurakhimov, who was ranked No. 10 at the time of their fight, got him into the rankings. A win over Lewis would put him in — or close to — the top five in the division.

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Trent Reinsmith

Trent covers UFC and MMA for MTS. He has written for USA Today Sports, Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively among others. He has been involved with MMA since he and some friends threw some money together to purchase the pay-per-view of UFC 1, and the rest is history.

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