Fans could have waited a little bit longer if they knew what they were in-store for last night (Sat. Sept. 5, 2015) inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After a 10-plus year wait, longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight veterans Andrei Arlovski and Frank Mir took to the Octagon in what was a possible title eliminator co-main event pairing (fight recap here) at the UFC 191 pay-per-view (PPV).
Arlovski and Mir were to supposed to meet years ago when the latter fighter defeated Tim Sylvia at UFC 48 back in June 2004 to take the belt. But a motorcycle accident injury suffered by the then-UFC Heavyweight Champion led to the creation of an interim heavyweight title and the two never clashed in the prime of their careers.
But in a career resurgence, before yesterday's match they were both riding winning streaks and in possession of a ranking in the heavyweight division's Top 10.
That has since changed.
Mir was ready to exchange on the feet to start the fight, but he began looking to -- as you'd expect -- initiate the clinch and work his Brazilian jiu-jitsu game. "The Pit Bull" did what he does best -- hit hard -- connecting on well-timed right hands.
The game of cat and mouse would continue throughout the first frame as Arlovski implored the 36-year-old Mir to chase him around the cage. Clinch, un-clinch, clinch, un-clinch; rinse and repeat.
The Belarusian bomber scored big with an uppercut and and straight right to end round one.
Arlovski came out fresh in round two and had to contend with Mir looking for a takedown. He made Mir pay every time he entered the clinch, mixing up knees and kicks to the body, which in turn made it extremely difficult to take him down.
The round ended rather awkwardly with Mir trying to bait Arlovski by leaving his hands down.
In the rather uneventful third, Arlovski continued to try and pound away at the face of Mir, who was having none of it. The Nevada native withstood the strikes and continued to fight his way into the clinch, where he almost landed his second takedown of the night.
At one point, Mir clipped the former UFC champ, which enabled him to pounce, but much to his dismay he had his top game nullified by the experienced Sambo competitor.
Towards the final 30 seconds, Arlovski opened up more, with several solid punches finding the mark only to have an exhausted Mir clinch with him once more.
Arlovski collected the unanimous-decision victory and saw his overall record improve to 25-10-(1). He has now won four-straight in UFC and is in prime position to request a title shot.
Mir, meanwhile, sees his short-lived, two-fight win streak snapped as he drops to 18-10.