UFC Fight Night 51 Play: Bigfoot vs Arlovski II (-400/+325)

UFC-156UFC Fight Night 51 Date: September 13, 2014 Arena: Nilson Nelson Gymnasium City: Brasilia, Brazil Heavyweight bout: Bigfoot vs Arlovski II Fight Breakdown: Headlining the UFC Fight Night 51 card in Brasilia, Brazil will be a rematch between veteran heavyweights Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski. Their initial bout was under the Strikeforce banner, and it was Silva who walked away victorious, winning the fight via split decision. Now, more than four years later, the Brazilian Silva is a heavy -400 ($400 to win $100) favorite going into the rematch, while the Belarussian Arlovski is a big betting underdog at +325 ($100 to win $325) at Several Bookmakerss. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (18-5-1 MMA, 2-2-1 UFC) is coming off a five-round war against “The Super Samoan” Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 33 last December. The result of the bout was a Majority Draw and the bout took home the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ honors, which pocketed both heavyweight’s $50,000 apiece. Unfortunately, Silva had to forfeit his bonus, as he tested positive for having elevated testosterone levels during his post-fight drug test. Furthermore, the result of their bout was turned from a Majority Draw into a No Contest. Now, after having served his nine-month suspension, he is ready to make his return to the Octagon. “Bigfoot” moves slow and does not have good footwork, but he does possess serious power in his gigantic fists. He likes to land heavy shots with his opponents pressured up against the cage, and while in top control on the mat. He throws hard with bad intentions, looking to put them away. Silva is a talented grappler who owns black belts in judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; currently training out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, F.L., he has very good conditioning, especially for a heavyweight, and I believe he will have enough in the tank to go another full 25-minutes of action, should this main event war reach the judges’ scorecards again for the Brazilian. Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski (22-10-1 NC MMA, 11-4 UFC) made his return to the Octagon at UFC 174 in Vancouver just three months ago, taking a very controversial split decision victory over “Big Brown” Brendan Schaub. Most spectators scored either two, or all three rounds for Schaub; I personally had “Big Brown” winning 30-27 on my scorecard. I could see an argument for a 29-28 and giving Arlovki a round, but giving him two rounds I find befuddling. He blamed his poor performance on nerves, saying he was more nervous than the very first time he fought inside the Octagon at UFC 28 back in 2000. Poor judges’ decision aside, he picked up a win and knows he needs to impress next time out, so in this rematch against Silva, I believe he will give everything he has to make-up for the last fight and get revenge on “Bigfoot” for their first fight he dropped via split decision. “The Pitbull” is a true veteran of the sport and a very well-rounded mixed martial artist who holds his own in every aspect of mixed martial arts. He is solid on the feet and packs power in his hands, owning an impressive 15 of 22 professional mixed martial arts career victories by way of knockout. His defensive grappling is good; he has a solid base and is hard to take down. Offensively, the Belarusian’s grappling is on-point, as he comes from a Sambo background, owning multiple titles in the sport. Training in high-altitude out of Jackson-Winklejohn MMA in Albuquerque, NM, Arlovski has excellent cardio and should be good for a five-round war, should this brawl go the distance. Gabe’s Thoughts: I think Arlovski is being tremendously undervalued in this match-up. I think people are looking too much into his last match-up and not taking his severe nerves into consideration. Perhaps they are right for doing that; Saturday night will tell. I, too, was disappointed with Arlovski’s last performance, but I think there is a very good chance he pulls it all together for this fight and gets the win over Silva. I like the odds of “The Pitbull” pulling off the upset, and at the current betting odds of +325, I do favor it for a wager. Gabe’s Call: “The Pitbull” by Unanimous Decision (48-47, 49-46, 50-45) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Andrei Arlovski (+325) 2u to win 6.5u

Written by Gabe Killian

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