UFC 174 Fight Breakdown: Brendan Schaub (-160) vs. Andrei Arlovski (+140)

arlovski-article One of the main card bouts at UFC 174 is a three-round heavyweight bout between Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub and Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Schaub as a -160 favorite (bet $160 to win $100) while Arlovski is a +140 underdog (bet $100 to win $140). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Arlovski at -140 and Schaub at +100, meaning the line has flipped as the betting public likes Schaub in this matchup. It’s a close one to call, but I agree that Schaub should be the favorite as I’m also picking him to win the fight. Here’s why. Schaub (10-3) first appeared on TUF season 10, where he lost to Roy Nelson in the finals. Since then, the 31-year-old American has racked up a 6-3 overall record inside the Octagon with notable victories over Matt Mitrione, Lavar Johnson, Mirko Cro Cop and Gabriel Gonzaga, amongst others. He has heavy hands and his wrestling and ground game are also excellent for a heavyweight fighter. However, his chin is a major red flag and he’s been finished with strikes in all three of his losses — and all those knockouts came in brutal fashion. Still, he’s pretty young and still improving his game, having scored a submission victory over Mitrione in his last appearance. Now he looks to build on that victory and increase his win streak to three-straight bouts when he takes on Arlovski at UFC 174 in what is arguably the biggest fight of his career to date. Arlovski (21-10, 1 NC) is the former UFC heavyweight champion. The 35-year-old Belarusian is making his return to the UFC after six years away from the promotion, and he earned the spot on the UFC roster with 6-1, 1 NC record over his last eight bouts. Known for his exceptional knockout power and his Sambo background, Arlovski is one of the heaviest hitters in the heavyweight division. In his career, Arlovski has defeated Roy Nelson, Fabricio Werdum, Tim Sylvia, Vladimir Matyushenko, Ben Rothwell and Mike Kyle, amongst others, and many of those victories came by knockout. But while Arlovski possesses the dynamite in his fists to knock out any man across from him in the Octagon, his chin is a huge concern as well as he’s been finished with strikes seven times. Going up against Schaub, Arlovski’s gameplan will be to find his opponent’s chin and knock him out. But there’s a good chance he’s the one getting knocked out first, and that’s why this is such a tricky fight to bet on. This is a fight that can end in a lot of different ways, but I think that Schaub’s grappling advantage will help him here as I see him taking Arlovski to the ground and either ending the fight with a submission or grinding him out en route to a decision win. I lean towards Schaub here but with his chin there’s no way you can make a bet here at -160 against a guy with Arlovski’s power. I really think that this is an extremely dangerous fight to bet on and I don’t recommend any plays at all here, not even any of the props, as I could see the fight playing out in numerous ways.

Written by Adam Martin.

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