UFC Vegas 40 was objectively pretty bad. Fortunately, we knew with reasonable certainty that it was going to be. Case in point: the main event lived up to its hype perfectly, which is to say, there was no hype, and the fight was a miserable experience for everyone involved. The rest of the card was ... okay. It featured a 50-50 split between stoppages and decisions, and there was some standouts throughout the night (like Danaa Batgerel and Nate Landwehr).
On a night such as this, there is no huge lesson to be learned or major narrative to comment upon. Instead, we just have to be satisfied with the small victories.
Last night’s event was a win for the OGs, the old guys. Certified badasses and soon-to-be AARP members Andrei Arlovski and Jim Miller picked up victories, bucking the typical combat sports trend of the young feasting upon the old.
Were it any other situation, the only reason I would bring up Arlovski’s fight vs. Carlos Felipe would be to dunk upon it. It was a classically bad Heavyweight fight. Arlovski used up most of his gas tank in the first round, running all over the place while throwing up lots of kicks. He petered off somewhere in the middle of the second, allowing Felipe to huff-and-puff his way back into the contest.
The Brazilian made it close, but the 42-year-old with the smushed nose got the nod.
Impartially, it was a terrible fight, and we’re all worse off having witnessed it. However, one doesn’t have to enjoy watching his current work to appreciate “The Pitbull.” The Belarusian has scored 17 knockout wins in his 22-year professional career, meaning he’s done more than enough in providing us with excitement. Arlovski owes the fans nothing, and every time Arlovski collects both halves of his paycheck by diffusing some young hothead with “brawler” tattooed on his face, well, it’s a good f—king moment.
Arlovski has now won four of his last five fights a decade after most of us wanted him to retire. That’s legendary work from the former champion, and while I have no desire to witness him fight ever again, I hope he continues profiting upon the folly of youth for years to come.
Jim Miller’s win was even better, because it was actually awesome from start to finish. Arlovski has settled into his veteran role by outsmarting and outworking out-of-shape Heavyweights, but Miller doesn’t really have that luxury at 155 lbs. Instead, the New Jersey-native goes right out there to throw down with his young opponents, somehow maintaining the kill-or-be-killed mindset of a fresh-faced newcomer.
The 38-year-old veteran scored his first knockout win in years, absolutely cracking Erick Gonzalez on the counter after a barnburner of a first round. Dating back to September 2018, Miller has won five of his eight contests, stopping all of his victories. Of his three losses in that span, only Charles Oliveira — THE CURRENT CHAMPION — was able to end Miller before the bell.
That’s incredible. Shoutout to the old guys, who provided a bit of light during an otherwise dim event. Throwback nights such as these don’t come often, so appreciating them is only right.
For complete UFC Vegas 40: “Ladd vs. Dumont” results and play-by-play, click HERE!