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UFC 191 fight card: Andrei Arlovski vs Frank Mir full fight preview

Andrei Arlovski and Frank Mir will finally scrap this Saturday (Sept. 5, 2015) at UFC 191 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. In a match up of Heavyweight veterans, what adjustments must be made for either man to claim victory? Find out below!

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champions Andrei Arlovski and Frank Mir will battle this Saturday (Sept. 5, 2015) at UFC 191 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Since a dismal run in Strikeforce back in 2011, Arlovski has been largely setting the world on fire. He's 9-1 (1) in that time, including a pair of brutal knockout wins in his last two fights.

Speaking of unlikely career renaissances, Frank Mir recent wins have been downright shocking. After a four fight slide, Mir took some time off and returned revitalized, and he's suddenly a Top 10-ranked Heavyweight again.

Such a strange division.

With all that in mind, let's take a look at the keys to victory for both fighters:

Andrei Arlovski
Record: 24-10 (1)
Key Wins: Antonio Silva (UFC Fight Night 51), Brendan Schaub (UFC 174), Roy Nelson (Elite XC: "Heat")
Key Losses: Anthony Johnson (WSOF 2), Antonio Silva (Strikeforce: "Heavy Artillery")
Keys to Victory: Arlovski is a true veteran of the sport, having started his career back in 1999. Though he comes from a Sambo background and has proven to have nasty submissions in his brief forays to the mat, Arlovski is best known for brutally separating his opponents from their senses.

He's done just that 17 times now.

For the most part, Arlovski has one game plan. Looking to bounce in with his brutal right hand or simply swarm with combinations, Arlovski defends takedowns until an opening to land arises.

While Mir is a unique fighter, this is not a unique challenge for Arlovski. He's faced dangerous strikers intent on taking him down before to both victory and defeat, so he knows what he should and should not do.

This isn't "Pitbull's" first rodeo.

In short, Arlovski should look to keep a healthy amount of distance between himself and Mir. Then, he can suddenly spring in and try to land a knockout blow, before retreating to distance and avoiding both punches and takedown attempts.


Frank Mir
Record: 18-9
Key Wins: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (UFC 140, UFC 192), Roy Nelson (UFC 130), Brock Lesnar (UFC 81)
Key Losses: Junior dos Santos (UFC 146), Josh Barnett (UFC 164), Alistair Overeem (UFC 169)
Keys to Victory: Mir has long been known as one of the division's best jiu-jitsu fighters, and that reputation is well-deserved. He's simply vicious on the mat and has made a career of cranking until something pops.

To his credit, Mir's also a powerful -- and still improving -- striker. Recently, he's worked a ton on his movement and kicks, allowing him to be more accurate and quick with his punches.

At this point, Mir seems quite confident in his kickboxing. Considering the fact that he purposefully chose to brawl with Todd Duffee -- who, despite his faults, is still one of the most powerful men in the division -- it just seems unlikely to me that Mir will spend a ton of time hunting for the takedown.

If that is the case, Mir should plan extensively on avoiding Arlovski's deadly right hand and his resetting back fist. Furthermore, Mir should look to kick often, as Arlovski hasn't really relied on that part of his game in some time. If Mir is controlling the distance and Octagon with his kicks, it will definitely give him an advantage when punches are eventually traded.

Bottom Line: This bout could potentially determine the next man to fight for the title. In addition, there's a rumor spreading around the web that the winner of this fight will pair off with the legendary Fedor Emelianenko.

Either way, the stakes are very high.

For both fighter, this is an opportunity to add another bright moment to their career. Arlovski and Mir have already had incredible careers, and their current renaissances simply add on to that. Ultimately, the goal of any streak is to claim -- or in the case of these two men, reclaim -- the belt, and victory here will put the winner very close to that objective.

On the other hand, a loss certainly holds up that goal. It doesn't completely take the loser out of the title picture, as Heavyweight is a thin division. Plus, fans love the old school fighters and would be more than happy to see them back on top, so it's always possible to build momentum quickly.

At UFC 191, Andrei Arlovski and Frank Mir will clash in a potential title eliminator. Which man will have his hand raised?

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