UFC Fight Night 51 Preview

ufc_fn51The heavyweights take a focus once again in the UFC as UFC Fight Night 51 will feature two veterans of the sport. Andrei Arlovski and Antonio Silva will face off in what seems to becoming a theme in the UFC, a rematch years in the making. For Arlovski this is another chance to continue his comeback tour by avenging a loss from years ago. Arlovski has been fighting since 1999 and is one of the true builders of the UFC. Before the UFC got big it was a group of fighters essentially facing off in tiny arenas with Pay-per-View as the only way to see it. When the promotion began in 1997 it was a sport that many did not accept as a real sport, instead choosing to see it as human cock-fighting. Arlovski was one of the main names at the very start of the promotion and lived through the years of being outside of the sports world fighting in relative anonymity. Then it all began to change as the UFC began to develop into a sport that was taken seriously by the sports world and although it may still not be a part of the biggest sports in North America it is widely accepted as a serious sport that is not necessarily on the fringes anymore. Like any fighting promotion the heavyweights carried the load as the faces of the promotion and Arlovski was right there to carry his weight. Starting in the UFC in 2000, Arlovski made his way to the top of the division and became one of the biggest names in the sport. Four years after his first UFC fight he faced off against another face of the UFC in Tim Sylvia for the Interim Heavyweight Championship while Frank Mir recovered from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. Arlovski won the bout with a first round leg lock and became the interim Heavyweight Champion. After defending the interim title once, he was named the undisputed champion after Mir was stripped of his belt and was able to beat Paul Buentello in his first undisputed title defence. His reign as champion ended with a rematch against Tim Sylvia but solidified himself as one of the faces of the UFC at the beginning of the promotion. More losses after his unsuccessful title defence saw many wonder if his career was winding down and after finishing his final fight on his UFC contract in 2008 he left the UFC. Continuing to fight outside of the UFC Arlovski showed that he was still a fighter to watch and earlier this year after six years he made his return to the UFC with a split decision win over Brendan Schaub at UFC 174. Wit ha new life in the UFC Arlovski hopes to go out on a much better note this time around as the 35-year old hopes to make a run at the heavyweight title. In his is a man who beat him in 2010 and the UFC’s #4 ranked heavyweight Antônio Silva. A win will be sure to rocket him up the rankings and closer to the title he once held years ago. It is a heavyweight belt so there is little doubt about where this fight will primarily stay but both fighters have enough confidence in their ground games to take the fight to the ground. The fight truly could end anywhere with both fighters having that knockout power that is needed by heavyweights but also the ground game to submit any fighter. It will be an interesting fight as heavyweight return to the main event and hoping to give the fans a show. It will also be a close fight as neither fighter has a glaring weakness to expose. With that in mind though it seems like Arlovski is simply re-energized with new life in the UFC and will take this fight via knockout in the third round.

The heavyweights take focus at UFC Fight Night 51 the lightweights are never far from focus in the UFC. It seems like every card there is a matchup of two lightweights trying to get some attention in the most loaded division in the UFC. It has been said many times that the lightweight division is one of the deepest in the UFC and to get some attention takes a lot. With the log jam at the top of the division it is becoming tougher for other fighters to move up the rankings but that hasn’t stopped any of them from trying. Two more fighters will try to change things as they face off in the co-main event with the goal of an impressive victory fuelling both of them. For Gleison Tibau it is a chance to return to the top of the division as the UFC veteran has been in the promotion since 2006 and has seen plenty of highs and lows in the lightweight division. He is looking for a run up the rankings to get the title shot he has yet to see but will need to do it in impressive fashion to get noticed in the division. His opponent is on the opposite end of the spectrum as Piotr Hallmann’s first UFC fight was last year and the young fighter is looking to make his first run at the title. The after three fights and two wins he is looking to beat a savvy veteran and put a big name on his win list. The fight is a veteran and a young gun going at it in what could be a display of the ground game. Hallmann is a strong ground and pound fighter while Tibau has great BJJ. It will be a tight battle between two fighters trying to get their game going on the mat.


Fight Card

Main Event:
Antônio “Bigfoot” Silva vs. Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski (UFC Fight Pass)

Main Card:
Gleison Tibau vs. Piotr “Płetwal” Hallmann (UFC Fight Pass)

Leonardo Santos vs. Efrain “Hecho en Mexico” Escudero (UFC Fight Pass)

Santiago “El Rasta” Ponzinibbio vs. Wendell “War Machine” Oliveira (UFC Fight Pass)

Iuri “Marajó” Alcântara vs. Russell Doane (UFC Fight Pass)

Jéssica “Bate Estaca” Andrade vs. Larissa Pacheco (UFC Fight Pass)

Godofredo “Pepey” Pepey vs. Dashon “Fly Boy” Johnson (UFC Fight Pass)

George Sullivan vs. Igor Araújo (UFC Fight Pass)

Paulo Thiago vs. Sean “Black Magik” Spencer (UFC Fight Pass)

Rani Yahya vs. “Brutal” Johnny Bedford (UFC Fight Pass)

Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo vs. Leandro “Buscapé” Silva (UFC Fight Pass)

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