WSOF 5 – Anthony Johnson Out, Andrei Arlovski In!

The WSOF 5 event scheduled to take place on September 14th in Atlantic City has been changed due to an injury. The original match pitted Anthony Johnson facing off against Mike Kyle, but Johnson, who has his sites set on being the new promotion’s top fighter, was forced to pull out with an injury. Kyle will now stay at Heavyweight and face off against veteran Andrei Arlovski. The new match is almost certain to be over quickly, as both men pack big punches and questionable chins. Kyle was an underdog against Johnson, who owns a win over Arlovski, and he is likely to remain the underdog when the new lines are set. Kyle was going to fight Johnson at 205 lbs, however Arlovski would signal that this is now a Heavyweight matchup. Kyle has fought at Heavyweight extensively in his career and is likely to weigh in at 225 to 230 lbs. Arlovski will have reach and height advantages, but their weights will be within 10 pounds of each other, since Arlovksi is not a massive Heavyweight. The fight itself is likely to be decided on the feet. Arlovski is the more polished fighter in the stand up game, as he has relied on his extensive boxing training to earn him wins in MMA. Arlovski is very mobile for a heavyweight, with good lateral movement and serviceable take down defense. Arlovski has the punching power to KO Kyle if he lands his big punch, and he also has the finesse to outclass Kyle if the match turns into a long affair. Arlovski is nearing the end of his career, and making a title run with WSOF and earning a last handful of checks has to be on his mind. He is coming off a decision loss to Anthony Johnson, and a second loss in a row would signal his fall from relevance in WSOF as well, so look for Arlovski to be in shape and motivated. Kyle has had a long career, one that has included a 3 fight run with the UFC in 2004 and early 2005, and one that has seen him unable to shed the reputation of being a ‘headcase’. It shows in his numerous suspensions and cuts from companies for flagrant fouls at the end of fights (hitting downed guys and stuff like that). He also has a story or two about losing it in the gym and hurting training partners. More than that, he has lacked focus, taking off all of 2007 and fighting just twice in two years (2011-2012) before logging two fights in 2013. Kyle has all the excuses of the changed opponent and weight class, but if he is able to put it all together, he will be a threat to Arlovski. Kyle will look to land his big punch, and he has the athleticism to negate some of Arlovski’s movement and speed advantages. If he lands, we have all seen Arlovski floundering unconscious on the floor a few times, and that is what Kyle will be looking to do. Should be a fun fight to watch, and Kyle might be worth a look if he is a big enough underdog!

Written by Miguel

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