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UFC Fight Night 87 fight card: Andrei Arlovski vs Alistair Overeem full fight preview

Andrei Arlovski and Alistair Overeem will scrap tomorrow night (Sun., May 8, 2016) at UFC Fight Night 87 inside Ahoy Rotterdam in Rotterdam, Netherlands. In a match up of two strikers looking to earn a title shot, what adjustments must be made for either man to claim victory? Find out below!

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight knockout artists Andrei Arlovski and Alistair Overeem will clash tomorrow night (Sun., May 8, 2016) at UFC Fight Night 87 inside Ahoy Rotterdam in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Arlovski's recent UFC run and has included some of his best performances ever, and though he's coming into this bout off a loss, he's still not far from a title shot. With a win here, "The Pitbull" is right back in the mix.

Meanwhile, Overeem's UFC career has certainly been inconsistent, but he's really put it together in his last few fights. Overeem is coming off perhaps the biggest win of his career, and he's certainly looking to earn a shot at the strap.

Let's take a look at the keys to victory for both men:

Andrei Arlovski
Record: 26-11 (1)
Key Wins: Travis Browne (UFC 187), Frank Mir (UFC 191), Antonio Silva (UFC Fight Night 51)
Key Losses: Stipe Miocic (UFC 195), Anthony Johnson (WSOF 2), Antonio Silva (Strikeforce: "Heavy Artillery")
Keys to Victory: Arlovski is a Sambo specialist with a brutal right hand. He's a power and quick Heavyweight with plenty of experience, which makes him an incredible dangerous fighter and knockout threat opposite much of the division.

This really is a collision of glass cannons. Both men have extremely hard and have plenty of experience knocking skilled opponents flat. Both men have also been on the wrong side of the knockout nearly 10 times each and have been around the game for a long time.

For Arlovski, that means aggression and pressure are his friends. In terms of pure punching power, Arlovski's right hand is undoubtedly superior, as most of Overeem's knockout wins come from kicks and knees.

Therefore, Arlovski should be attacking his opponent immediately and make it difficult for him to establish his range. Arlovski only needs to connect cleanly with his right hand once, and that will be easiest early in the fight.

Otherwise, Overeem will get comfortable and make Arlovski's life difficult.


Alistair Overeem
Record: 40-14 (1)
Key Wins: Junior dos Santos (UFC on FOX 17), Brock Lesnar (UFC 141), Frank Mir (UFC 169), Fabricio Werdum (Strikeforce: Overeem vs Werdum)
Key Losses: Ben Rothwell (UFC Fight Night 50), Travis Browne (UFC Fight Night 26), Antonio Silva (UFC 156)
Keys to Victory: Overeem is an exceptional kickboxer and dangerous grappler as well. Lately, he's also been fighting rather intelligently and capitalizing on his range weapons, making himself a far more difficult man to hit.

That will be important here.

Overeem should expect Arlovski to rush him, and he needs to be ready to circle off and avoid early exchanges. Once Arlovski settles down a bit -- or if he simply starts hesitantly -- Overeem should discourage him from closing the distance with his linear kicks to the leg and body.

It's important that Overeem is patient in this bout. Since losing weight and adapting his new style, Overeem's conditioning seems to be better than ever, whereas Arlovski fatigued badly in a very slow paced battle with Frank Mir.

Additionally, patience will allow Overeem the opportunity to analyze his foe. Once he gets a read on Arlovski, Overeem can commit to his power punches and look to end the bout.

Bottom Line: This is a very important fight for each man, as their title runs are largely on the line.

Arlovski needs this win. If he loses his second straight, it will require another win streak to get him back in the mix. At this stage in his career, he may not the time required to accomplish that task.

With a victory, Arlovski is once again within a win over a title shot. For example, if he were to match up with Junior dos Santos following this bout, it would very likely be a title eliminator.

Fans have been waiting for Overeem to put it all together for some time now, and that finally seems to have happened. Now, he needs to capitalize on his momentum with a victory here and really secure his title shot. Regardless of who wins between Fabricio Werdum and Stipe Miocic, a bout with "The Reem" would certainly be interesting.

Alternatively, a loss here really questions Overeem's ability to win consistently. If he cannot make it four fights without being knocked out, it's hard to see him as a champion.

At UFC Fight Night 87, Andrei Arlovski and Alistair Overeem will go to war in the main event. Which fighter will have his hand raised?

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