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Andrei Arlovski vs. Jake Collier full fight preview | UFC Vegas 53

UFC 271: Adesanya v Whittaker 2 Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight sluggers Andrei Arlovski and Jake Collier will throw down this weekend (Sat., April 30, 2022) at UFC Vegas 53 inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I really admire Arlovski’s late career resurgence. That’s not to say it’s fun to watch — no, Arlovski fights post-2019 are consistently agonizing viewing — but Arlovski deserves credit for continually decisioning all these would-be up-and-comers. At 43 years of age, Arlovski just keeps on keeping on, out-hustling younger fighters and minimizing the damage absorbed. Collier is looking to pass the Arlovski test and not end up on the wrong end of a dull decision. “The Prototype” is 2-2 since relocating to Heavyweight (read: gaining a bunch of weight), and we’re still figuring out just how high his ceiling stands.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:

LIVE! Stream UFC Vegas 55 On ESPN+

Bantamweight Battle! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., May 21, 2022, with a must-watch women’s Bantamweight contenders’ bout between former champion and No. 2-ranked contender, Holly Holm, taking on No. 5-seeded Ketlen Vieira. In UFC Vegas 55’s co-main event, No. 14-ranked Santiago Ponzinibbio will lock horns with Michel Pereira in an absolute Welterweight firecracker.

Don’t miss a single second of face-punching action!

Andrei Arlovski

Record: 33-20 (2)
Key Wins: Fabricio Werdum (UFC 70), Travis Browne (UFC 187), Ben Rothwell (UFC on ESPN 4), 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), Marcin Tybura (UFC Fight Night 111), Jairzinho Rozenstruik (UFC 244)
Keys to Victory: No quick list of fights can hope to sum up Arlovski’s 23-year professional career. He’s been doing this forever, but lately, Arlovski has settled into a nice rhythm in his performances. He sticks some jabs, lands counters, flurries occasionally and is active with kicks from the outside. Against opponents who hunt for the knockout and peter out late in fights, this is often more than enough for the victory.

Arlovski now holds the most decisions in UFC Heavyweight history, and ain’t nobody touching that record.

I’ll be honest, Collier seems like the perfect opponent for another Arlovski decision win. I remain skeptical of Collier at Heavyweight, because he’s carrying a lot of unnecessary weight and has yet to beat anyone of note in that division (sorry Chase Sherman). Arlovski has turned away several opponents like him in the last two years, and he’s looking really consistent.

Ultimately, the key here is to avoid getting blitzed early. Collier is surprisingly fast, and he’s a natural finisher. So long as Arlovski can draw this one out and get his range kickboxing flowing, he’s likely to pull ahead on points over time.


Jake Collier

Record: 13-6
Key Wins: Chase Sherman (UFC Vegas 46), Gian Villante (UFC Vegas 16), Marcel Fortuna (UFC Fight Night 120)
Key Losses: Tom Aspinall (UFC Fight Island 3), Carlos Felipe (UFC 263), Devin Clark (UFC on FOX 24)
Keys to Victory: Collier is a really naturally talented fighter. He didn’t get involved with martial arts at all until his 20s, and he’s nevertheless managed to pick up wins in three different UFC weight classes. That’s kind of insane in this day and age, but “The Prototype” has excellent instincts for violence.

This may be a bout where it makes sense to go all-in from the first bell. Is Collier likely to win a decision versus Arlovski, the man whose entire recent career comprises decisioning Heavyweights? Not likely.

Instead, Collier has to capitalize on his youth, power and instincts. Crash forward right away and get after Arlovski! Plenty of recent opponents have stunned “The Pitbull” at one point or another, so ideally Collier will put his foe in that same position. If the knockout doesn’t seem like it’s happening, perhaps Collier can bulldoze Arlovski to the canvas and score the finish from top position instead.

Either way, there’s no reason to hold back.


Conclusion

I won’t BS my readers, there have been better co-main events in UFC history.

Arlovski’s just doing his thing as elder gatekeeper of the Heavyweight division. Unless he drops off suddenly — not impossible given his age — he fulfills a valuable role in the division. Fighters who cannot get passed Arlovski are not ready for the Top 15, and that’s helpful info!

Win or lose, Arlovski’s position remains unchanged.

As for Collier, this is really an opportunity to raise expectations about his Heavyweight future. He’s thus far managed to carve out a spot for himself by winning as much as he’s lost, but defeating Arlovski is actually a pretty solid accomplishment. Victory would begin his first Heavyweight win streak and demonstrate that an opponent in the rankings wouldn’t be unreasonable next time out.

At UFC Vegas 53, Andrei Arlovski and Jake Collier will go to war in the co-main event. Which Heavyweight earns the win?


Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 53 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN2/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (on ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.

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