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Heavyweight Derrick Lewis returns to his home state of Texas to compete in front of his home crowd against the rising Russian star Sergei Pavlovich.
ANALYSIS

Derrick Lewis vs. Sergei Pavlovich Prediction: Should You Back the Underdog at UFC 277?

Heavyweight Derrick Lewis returns to his home state of Texas to compete in front of his home crowd against the rising Russian star Sergei Pavlovich. Derrick Lewis is 26-9 with 21 knockouts but is most recently 5-2 over his last seven, including losing a title fight to Ciryl Gane. Lewis is currently the fourth-ranked heavyweight in the UFC. Pavlovich is 15-1 with 12 knockouts and has quickly entered the UFC ranking at number eleven after a three-fight win streak has him matched up against "The Black Beast." Let's get into my prediction, pick, and odds for the Derrick Lewis vs Sergei Pavlovich fight at UFC 277.

Derrick Lewis vs Sergei Pavlovich Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: July 30, 2022
  • Fight Time: 10:00 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: PPV

Click Here for Lewis vs Pavlovich Odds

Derrick Lewis vs Sergei Pavlovich Prediction

Both men are known for their show-stopping power in this heavyweight matchup. Lewis has only not won by knockout five times in 26 wins. Even in Lewis's last loss against Tai Tuivasa, he had Tuivasa cracked and wobbly. Still, Tai's chin was able to barely hold up, and Lewis tired out going for the finish, which eventually reversed the situation, and Tuivasa was able to finish Lewis. Lewis was on an impressive four-fight win streak prior to his title fight with Gane, and he got it by being patient with his strikes and not swinging without thought.

This is how he got his massive underdog knockout over Curtis Blaydes, a fight where he was losing, but chose a well-timed uppercut against Blaydes on a takedown entry to knock him out. The Theme for Lewis has been patience and picking his shots over his last ten, and I believe he is a much-improved fighter for it. Lewis has proved he can hang with the ranked big guns in the division and is probably the hardest hitter in the UFC besides Francis Ngannou (Lewis beat Ngannou back in 2018, by the way). Even though he is the higher-ranked and more tested fighter, he finds himself as the underdog on Saturday night.

The favorite in this fight will be rising prospect, Sergei Pavlovich. Pavlovich has had four fights in the UFC and has gone 3-1 over the four. Sergei has seen the scorecards just three times in sixteen fights, and his only loss was a knockout in his debut to Alastair Overeem.

His three wins have come by knockout, but look who they were against. He knocked out Shamil Abdurakhimov most recently, but Adburakhminov has lost all five of his five losses in the UFC by knockout, showing his chin is easily cracked. Before that, he beat Maurice Greene, who is 4-5 in the UFC. Before that, he beat Marcelo Golf, who went 1-3 in the UFC and was cut. The level of competition hasn't been there in his wins, and Lewis has a stacked resume with his fights inside the top five over double digits.

This fight is very simple to me, and it probably sounds naive, but I'm not overthinking my position here. If Alastair Overeem can knockout Pavlovich, Lewis can too. I know Lewis could be knocked out in this fight too, but considering he is 1-2 over his last three and really needs this win to keep his name at the top, I think he shows us the more patient Lewis we have seen in his recent wins.

Lewis is 8-4 as an underdog in the UFC, including lines over +250 in his two title fights. Pavlovich could come out and smoke him, but at this point early in his UFC career, I don't think he deserves to be a favorite over a man with a resume like Lewis. I believe Lewis breaks his Texas curse and wins in front of his crowd at UFC 277. Play Lewis as the underdog once again.

Derrick Lewis vs Sergei Pavlovich Pick

Play: Derrick Lewis by KO/TKO @ +160 (Bet $100 to win $160)

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Article Author

NCAABBoxing/MMAMLBNHL

Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.

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