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Tai Tuivasa vs. Sergei Pavlovich booked for UFC Orlando co-main event

UFC Fight Night: Gane v Tuivasa
Tai Tuivasa
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Tai Tuivasa and Sergei Pavlovich are keeping the upper tier of the heavyweight division moving.

MMA Fighting confirmed with sources with knowledge of the matchup that Tuivasa (15-4) and Pavlovich (16-1) are set to fight in the co-main event of UFC Orlando, which takes place Dec. 3 at Amway Center in Orlando, Fla. Tuivasa is currently ranked No. 5 at heavyweight in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings, while Pavlovich holds the No. 7 spot.

The bout was first reported by MMA Junkie.

Tuivasa looks to rebound from a third-round knockout loss to Ciryl Gane this past September at UFC Paris, a loss that snapped a five-fight win streak for the affable Australian. Prior to that, Tuivasa was on a run of success that included knockout victories against Derrick Lewis, Augusto Sakai, and Stefan Struve.

Pavlovich also recently defeated Lewis, taking out the perennial contender in under a minute at UFC 277 this past July. The Russian has won four straight fights, with his lone UFC loss taking place in his promotional debut when he fought Alistair Overeem. All of Pavlovich’s UFC wins have come by way of first-round KO/TKO.

UFC Orlando is headlined by a welterweight contest between Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Kevin Holland.

Guilherme Cruz and Mike Heck contributed to this report.

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