UFC Fight Night: Pavlovich v Volkov
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight sluggers Sergei Pavlovich and Alexander Volkov threw down earlier tonight (Sat. June 22, 2024) live on ABC inside Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In a great showing, Volkov clearly won the striking battle.

There was no shocking Pavlovich blitz to start this fight. He pressured, but the early exchanges were more patient than expected. Volkov took the early initiative with an active left leg, and he did good work in timing Pavlovich’s pressure forward with his jab. Pavlovich scored some hard jabs of his own, but “Drago” was the more effective striker in the first frame.

Volkov continued to really control distance into the second. He was tying together his punches and kicks well, always sticking Pavlovich with something. Pavlovich did land occasionally, but he wasn’t throwing enough, nor was he able to hurt Volkov badly and make up for his lack of volume. By the end of the second, Pavlovich’s lead leg was battered, his nose bloodied, and his eye swelling quickly.

In short, Pavlovich’s back was to the wall with five minutes remaining. Credit to Pavlovich, he stepped up the pressure and started pushing harder in the third. By throwing longer combinations, he was able to land more often. “Drago” didn’t falter, however, standing his ground and firing back in kind with stiff jabs. The damage wore on Pavlovich, who resorted to wrestling late in the fight to no real effect.

All in all, it was a better round from Pavlovich, but it wasn’t enough to earn the victory. The judges unanimously sided with Volkov, who finished the round with a snappy high kick connection.

Is this the best victory in Volkov’s career? “Drago” has been a high-level Heavyweight for a really long time, but this might have been his most complete performance. He stayed on his game the whole time, shoveling hard straight punches into the mush of his opponent’s face for 15 minutes. His striking and combinations flowed really well, and as a result, the 35 year old is back in the title mix.

Result: Volkov defeats Pavlovich via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

For complete UFC Saudi Arabia results, coverage, and highlights, click HERE.

Author: Staff

Please go to MMAMania.com to read full article.

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