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UFC Fight Night 93 results from last night: Andrei Arlovski vs Josh Barnett fight review, analysis

UFC Fight Night: Barnett v Nelson Photo by Ken Ishii/Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight elites Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett clashed last night (Sept. 3, 2016) at UFC Fight Night 93 inside Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany.

Arlovski’s rise into the Top 5 was both incredible and unpredictable, but he’s hit a hard wall in his last couple fights. To remain a top contender, Arlovski needed to find success in this match up. Barnett has shown a deeper game than ever since returning for a nearly two year layoff, but he’s merely split a pair of bouts in that time. Like his opponent, this was a must-win bout for "Warmaster" if he’s to remain in the title picture.

The veterans wasted little time in throwing down, as both men rocked the other within 30 seconds. Barnett seemed to land the harder shots in that wild exchange, but he wisely chose to close the distance into the clinch anyway. After landing a few nice strikes in the clinch, Barnett was reversed to the mat. Arlovski pretty much just stalled while standing above him, but he tagged Barnett hard once the ref stood them up.

Barnett continued his pressure along the fence to end the round, making it a very tight round to judge.

Barnett wasted little time in jamming his opponent into the fence, though he was unable to accomplish all that much. Arlovski did a nice job of creating distance, but he had already fatigued quite a bit, which allowed Barnett to land and get back to the fence.

With about 90 seconds remaining, Arlovski attacked with the same outside trip, but Barnett was able to reverse this time. He landed in the mount almost immediately, and Barnett landed some hard ground-and-pound from his dominant position.

Arlovski survived, but he definitely took a beating.

Barnett and Arlovski traded some hard shots, and "Warmaster" seemed to be getting the better of the exchanges. However, Arlovski landed a nasty eye poke and looked to capitalize, but Barnett was nonetheless able to clinch up and use a kimura to land in top position. This time, Barnett still had plenty of time left. He held onto the kimura and patiently worked into mount, where he immediately began dropping hard punches. Arlovski bucked and tried to roll over, but it simply allowed Barnett to sneak in the rear-naked choke.

All in all, this was a strong showing for Barnett. He nearly landed the knockout early, but he stuck to the game plan when Arlovski began returning in kind. By forcing the bout into the clinch, Barnett forced his opponent to constantly work and slowly chipped away at the Belarusian.

Barnett’s patience is a great attribute. Throughout the fight, he methodically worked to close the distance, never trying to lunge in or take a bad shot. By refusing to give Arlovski any easy opportunities to hit him, Barnett was able to break his opponent down without absorbing too much damage.

The one downside of this performance is that Barnett simply seemed older than in his other recent performances. He was shaken a bit more easily by Arlovski’s punches, and he was definitely taking some deep breaths by the time the fight ended.

Nonetheless, this is a major victory for Barnett, who should now be inside the top five. He’s primed for a title eliminator match up in his next bout, though it will come against one of the division’s absolute best like Cain Velasquez or Junior dos Santos.

Consider his available skills, Arlovski fought fairly well. He did a nice job of reversing the clinch, landing counter takedowns, and generally creating distance, but a couple things cost him. First and foremost, Arlovski’s durability simply isn’t what it used to be, as getting rocked is perhaps the worst way to start a five round fight.

On a related note, Arlovski’s conditioning simply didn’t hold up. Barnett pushed a grueling pace, to be sure, but Arlovski had moments where he could’ve attacked freely. Unfortunately for the former champion, he was simply too tired to capitalize.

Following this loss, Arlovski’s future as a contender and UFC fighter is definitely uncertain, but only "The Pitbull" and his team know where he will go from here.

Last night, Josh Barnett worked past Andrei Arlovski in the main event of UFC Fight Night 93. Does Barnett have one last title run in him?

For complete UFC Fight Night 93 "Arlovski vs Barnett" results and play-by-play, click HERE!

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