Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Tuivasa vs. Pavlovich Added To UFC Orlando, MMA Twitter Reacts

Orlando locals will have their chance to join Tai Tuivasa’s shoey tour when the Australian heavyweight collides with Sergei Pavlovich on December 3.

The UFC Orlando card recently became more stacked with the addition of Stephen Thompson and Kevin Holland’s welterweight main event. Well, it’s now been announced that Tuivasa and Pavlovich will be providing an appetizer for the two headliners, and one that appears guaranteed to end in a knockout.

Per MMA Junkie’s Farah Hannoun, #4-ranked contender Tuivasa will head back to the States later this year to share the Octagon with rising Russian brute Pavlovich, who currently occupies the #5 spot in the promotion’s heaviest division.

Tuivasa (14-4) has had a miraculous resurgence that picked up pace early last year. Having suffered three consecutive losses across 2018 and 2019, “Bam Bam” found himself towards the bottom of the heavyweight ladder. But after rebounding against Stefan Struve in 2020, the Aussie fan favorite returned with a vengeance in 2021.

His vengeance took the form of two fists, which ended the nights of Harry Hunsucker, Greg Hardy, and Augusto Sakai. That form, which came alongside some memorable celebrations, was repeated this past February in Houston, where Tuivasa ascended into the top five by knocking out Derrick Lewis.

Having had his win streak snapped at the hands of Ciryl Gane, whom he collided with in a classic main event at UFC Paris last month, “Bam Bam” will look to return to winning ways (and shoey-drinking ways) before the end of the year.

If he’s to do so, the Aussie KO artist will have to stall the surge of Pavlovich (16-1). The former Fight Nights Global heavyweight champion has been near-perfect inside the Octagon. Since a debut defeat in a tough first assignment against Alistair Overeem, the Russian has won four straight.

After returning to action following a two-and-a-half-year layoff this past March at UFC London by stopping Shamil Abdurakhimov, Pavlovich leapt up the heavyweight ranks by finishing “The Black Beast” via TKO at UFC 277.

The current fights expected to take place at UFC Orlando on December 3 are as follows:

Kevin Holland vs. Stephen Thompson (welterweight main event)

Tai Tuivasa vs. Sergei Pavlovich (heavyweight co-main event)

Derek Brunson vs. Jack Hermansson (middleweight)

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Bryan Barberena (welterweight)

Matheus Nicolau vs. Matt Schnell (flyweight)

Angela Hill vs. Emily Ducote (women’s strawweight)

Tracy Cortez vs. Amanda Ribas (women’s flyweight) 

Clay Guida vs. Scott Holtzman (lightweight)

Michael Johnson vs. Marc Diakiese (lightweight)

Darren Elkins vs. Jonathan Pearce (featherweight)

Eryk Anders vs. Kyle Daukaus (middleweight)

Natan Levy vs. Genaro Valdez (lightweight)

Francis Marshall vs. Marcelo Rojo (bantamweight)

MMA Twitter Reacts To Tuivasa/Pavlovich Joining Stacked Card

Having seen the UFC’s December 3 Fight Night card grow from strength to strength in terms of name value and potential excitement, MMA fans flocked to Twitter to share their thoughts on the newly announced co-main event.

Aligned with the power that can be expected when the two behemoths collide in Orlando, caps were needed to describe the excitement of many…

Others discussed the matchup itself. While one fan claimed that it represents a risk for “Bam Bam,” another appeared to suggest that said risk won’t pay off come fight night.

As expected given his fan-friendly style, entertaining walkouts, and post-fight shoeys, Tuivasa wasn’t without his backers following the announcement.

Other users, however, were quick to note that the US-held matchup was announced following confirmation that the UFC will be heading back to Australia early next year, which would’ve perhaps leant itself to a Tuivasa appearance.

Who do you think will have their hand raised at UFC Orlando, Tai Tuivasa or Sergei Pavlovich?