Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight veterans Andrei Arlovski and Marcin Tybura will collide this Saturday (June 17, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 111 inside Singapoore Indoor Arena in Kallang, Singapoore.
Is this the end for Andrei Arlovski? To be fair, that’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves at a couple different points in the last few years, but his current UFC run may stand as the final nail in his coffin. After his unexpected win streak, Arlovski has since lost four straight fights, and none of those matches saw the judges.
It’s do-or-die for the former champion.
Tybura may be a step back in competition compared to recent foes, but the former M-1 kingpin has impressed since an ugly debut. The Polish athlete has finished all but two of his victories, making him yet another dangerous foe for “The Pitbull.”
Let’s take a look at the keys to victory for both men.
Record: 26-14 (1)
Key Wins: Travis Browne (UFC 187), Frank Mir (UFC 191), Antonio Silva (UFC Fight Night 51)
Key Losses: Stipe Miocic (UFC 195), Alistair Overeem (UFC Fight Night 87), Francis Ngannou (UFC on FOX 23)
Keys to Victory: Arlovski’s biggest attribute — even nearing the end of his career — is speed. Arlovski right hand packs deadly power, and it moves from point A to point B (his opponent’s chin) quicker than all but the very best.
That may sound pretty simple, but it’s hard to argue with 17 career knockouts.
Besides decreased durability and some loss of speed — which cannot be helped — one of Arlovski’s biggest issues has been hesitancy. If he’s not willing to let his right hand fly, and there’s not much of a path to victory for the Belarusian.
Therefore, Arlovski’s ideal strategy is pretty simply. From the outside, he needs to show some form of offense, be it the occasional kick or jab. Then, he can hunt for opportunities to step in with a cracking right hand. Frankly, it would be better for him to lunge in given the slightest chance rather than hang around and wait for the perfect shot, as waiting at range has really been a huge problem for Arlovski.
Key Wins: Viktor Pesta (UFC Fight Night 92), Luis Henrique (UFC 209), Damian Grabowski (M-1 Challenge 50)
Key Losses: Timothy Johnson (UFC Fight Night 86)
Keys to Victory: Tybura is definitely one of the better additions to the Heavyweight roster in the last couple years. He’s a talented wrestler and, as his recent head kick victory proved, a better striker than many expected.
Tybura has some real skill and finesse behind his approach. He’s not the most athletic man in the division, but Tybura’s well-rounded game and reasonably solid conditioning make him a definite threat.
In this case, Tybura should take full advantage of his excellent lead leg kicks. At range, he can punish Arlovski, who has never been the most active striker when given few opportunities.
On the whole, Tybura’s strategy should be to stay out of the pocket, either all the way out or in the clinch. When Arlovski tries to land his big shot, Tybura can duck into close range, where he could potentially land takedowns. At the very least, it will tire Arlovski, leaving him more vulnerable on the feet.
Bottom Line: This may be Andrei Arlovski’s final UFC fight.
If he comes up short for the fifth straight time, it’s hard to see the UFC giving him another fight. Perhaps his career will continue on the regional scene (again), but there’s a fair chance he’ll retire as well.
With a win, Arlovski can keep fighting in the UFC for at least another fight, assuming that’s his goal.
As for Tybura, this is his opportunity to jump into the top 10. He’s already holding a spot at No.13, but Arlovski is still ranked very highly. It would be the biggest name win of his career, and it could really propel him into the title mix. There’s always a need for fresh faces in the Heavyweight elite, and the best way to join those ranks is to knock out a previous member.
While Tybura is fairly young and could afford a loss, there are huge benefits to having his hand raised. This is a winnable fight for him and more favorable match up than the rest of the top 10, so Tybura really needs to succeed if he’s going to make an impact.
At UFC Fight Night 111, Andrei Arlovski and Marcin Tybura will trade heavy punches. Which man will remain standing when the dust settles?