The main event features a battle for the flyweight championship belt, but for betting odds there is another opportunity that awaits between two knockout artists.
Andre Arlovski (24-10, 17 KO’s, 3 Subs)
There was a time not too long ago when former UFC champion Andre Arlovski had a string of three consecutive losses in the now defunct Strikeforce organization and was banished to compete in the junior circuits of mixed martial arts. However, Arlovski got back on track winning six of his next eight fights including one no contest and was welcomed back into the big leagues of MMA when he re-signed with the UFC. He copped a split decision over power puncher Brendan Schaub and then notched two consecutive opening round KO’s over Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and the 6’7” Travis Browne.
Arlovski is a Sambo master but any semblance of submission work that this combat training has to offer has been virtually stripped from Arlovski’s arsenal as he has only three subs to his credit and hasn’t recorded one in over 10 years. Arlovski is all about overwhelming force and striking ability which makes his match against Frank Mir even more compelling. Mir is a big banger as well and this fight may be over quickly so don’t blink.
Frank Mir (18-9, 5 KO’s, 9 Subs)
Frank Mir’s uninterrupted tenure with the UFC dates all the way back to November of 2001. In fact, only the first two matches of his 27 fight career were outside the UFC but he has been a mainstay in their heavyweight division ever since. And it was indeed that UFC legacy he forged that was most likely responsible for his ticket not getting punched out of the organization when he dropped four consecutive bouts. Since his unanimous decision loss to Alistair Overeem well over a year ago Mir has rebounded with two stunning performances, both first-round KO’s, over Antonio Silva and Todd Duffee.
Mir appears to have responded from a little time away from the cage but Arlovski is a cut above an aging and seemingly faded Antonio Silva as well as the one-trick pony that is Todd Duffee. Mir will need to avoid trading blows for the sake of trading blows and may instead decide to use his mat skills to take this fight to the canvas and bludgeon Arlovski from the mount. In seven of Mir’s nine losses he has been knocked out but never submitted and Arlovski poses no such threat.
This is kind of a pick your punisher fight. Both fighters are positively lethal with their hands and it could be that the first one who gets hit more cleanly and more often will find himself on his back looking up at the roof of the MGM Garden Arena. While I believe Arlovski appears to be better suited to duking it out I will submit that Mir could gain quite an advantage if he chooses to shoot for the takedown and control the pace and flow on the mat. Unfortunately this has not been in his repertoire for quite a while as the last time Mir finished an opponent via submission was against Antonio “Big Nog” Nogueira in 2011.
While it will make the contrarians looks smart to declare that this fight will go the distance or be finished by submission you just know that these big boys have something to prove after all these years in the premier ranks of MMA and never once having squared off against each other. I look for Andre Arlovski to end this one in the second round, that's why the UFC odds favoring him seem to agree.
Free UFC Picks: Andre Arlovski -150 at GTBets.com.