Sergei Pavlovich Will Be Back-Up Fighter For Jones vs. Gane Title Fight

Sergei Pavlovich has been confirmed as the back-up fighter for this weekend’s UFC 285 event in Las Vegas in case either Jon Jones or Ciryl Gane is unable to make it to fight night for their heavyweight title showdown.

It’s not an uncommon practice for the UFC to have a back-up fighter waiting in the wings for a fight of this magnitude, but it’s perhaps a bigger deal than normal here given that the promotion have had headaches in the past during fight week when it comes to Jones.

For instance, Dan Henderson pulled out of a fight with Jones prior to UFC 151 in 2012 and then the champion refused to take on a hastily arranged replacement opponent in Chael Sonnen, which led to the entire event being cancelled.

Then just a few days before UFC 200 in 2016, Jones was pulled from his headlining title rematch with Daniel Cormier and stripped of the belt after testing positive for a banned substance, leading to Anderson Silva stepping in to fight DC on just two days notice.

So with that in mind it’s always best to have a back-up plan in place so everyone knows and agrees to what’s going to happen if someone does have to withdraw from the fight.

The 30-year-old Pavlovich makes sense as the fighter chosen as he’s the current No.3 ranked contender in the division after having amassed a five-fight winning streak over the past few years, with all of those wins coming via strikes in the first round.

More than likely Pavlovich’s services won’t be required on Saturday night, and if so then he’ll be able to proceed with training for his next scheduled fight, which will see him go up against the 4th ranked Curtis Blaydes in the main event of UFC Fight Night 223 on April 22nd in Las Vegas.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.