UFC Fight Night 51 Review

ufc_fn51When two fighters face off against each other there is always a bit more motivation than in most sports. That comes with the fact that there is another person on the other side of the octagon trying to beat you up. To stop that you have to beat them up and that can create plenty of motivation for all fighters. There are still plenty of other motivating factors and in the UFC over the last few fights one has been used more than any other. The UFC has put together a string of fights with some history as rematches have been the name of the game for the UFC. That includes UFC Fight Night 51 that will pit two MMA veterans against each other for the second time. Andrei Arlovski and Antonio Silva have been around MMA for a long time so it was almost guaranteed that they would meet each other at some point. That would happen in 2010 when, during Strikeforce Heavy Artillery, the two heavyweights faced-off in the co-main event of the night. The first fight between these two was a stand-up war that saw the fight never touch the mat. From the start of that fight Antonio Silva was consistently looking to counter the attacks of Arlovski. The counter strikes were big and multiple times it seemed like there was no way that Arlovsk was going to stay on his feet. The former UFC champion did stay on his feet though and came out with a big effort in the final round of the fight. It was not enough though and Arlovski took the loss and began a path to leaving Strikeforce which he did after his next fight, another loss. Silva continued on the path towards a heavyweight tournament at Stirkeforce after the impressive unanimous decision win. In the end both fighters found their way to the UFC and now four years later will face off once again. Arlovski was looking for some revenge from that fight after being beat fairly handily against Silva. It was not his best performance as he was bloodied and thought to be knocked out multiple times. He remained on his feet though in a performance that at the least showed his trademark toughness. Still it was a loss and it was another loss in his path out of Strikeforce. Since the fight against Silva Arlovski has only lost twice including his return fight to the UFC. After years away from the place where he was once a champion Arlovski rejoined the UFC and beat Brendan Schaub via Split Decision. Now he takes on Silva to put a bigger name on his record and erase the loss that he suffered in Strikeforce. For Silva it was a chance to prove that he is better than Arlovski and to recover from two fights that have not gone his way. Silva suffered a title fight loss to Cain Velasquez and followed that fight up with a no contest against Mark Hunt. He was trying to get back on the winning track at UFC Fight Night 51. Wrestling and BJJ are big parts of the ground game for Arlovski and Silva respectively but it was not expected to come to that with both fighters more than willing to stand. Both have knockout power and took that into the octagon for a second time looking for the impressive finish in Brazil. That is exactly what the Brazilian fans would get too as the two heavyweights went toe-to-toe clearly looking for the knockout immediately. Arlovski started off the display of striking going to the body of Silva and hoping to open up strikes to the head. Silva did not just stay put though as he would fire back against Arlovski and do his own damage. The exchanges continued throughout the first round until Arlovski finally landed a big right hand dropping Silva. Arlovski took advantage of the chance and jumped on Silva forcing the referee to stop the fight. The win is his second in a row since returning to the UFC and it is sure to move him up the rankings as he continues to try to get back to the top of the division. The loss for Silva was a big one as he was ranked #4 in the division and on his way to a title shot but will now fall further down the list and have to climb back into title contention.

The co-main event was all about one of the toughest divisions in the UFC as Gleison Tibau and Piotr Hallmann faced off. The matchup was a classic one between veteran and young gun as Tibau was looking to take out the up and coming Hallmann. For Tibau it was just another fight, one of 23 in his UFC career, and another fight against a young fighter looking to put his name on their win list. Tibau has been fighting in the UFC for years and has been a mainstay in the lightweight division. Yet he has never been able to string enough wins together to earn a shot in the division. Tibau has seen the lightweights go from a preliminary division that rarely got main events to one of the most competitive divisions in the UFC. Through it all Tibau has stayed around but still has not been able to make enough of an impact in the division to be considered a title fighter. Overall Tibau has plenty of wins to be considered a great fighter in the division but his problem has always been stringing together enough wins. He has had numerous two and three fight win streaks but they always seem to end there. At UFC Fight Night 51 he was looking for a second win in a row after beating Pat Healey in his last fight. In his way was Hallmann who has only three fights in the UFC with two wins. Both wins have come against impressive opponents while he looks to add another big name to his list. The fight promised to be a ground battle with Tibau likely using his BJJ against Hallmann’s ground and pound style. The fight would not end up where most expected as it seemed like Hallmann did not want to fight on the mat. Both fighters stayed standing throughout the majority of the fight but would clinch with Tibau trying to take the fight to the ground. Throughout the fight it was Tibau that got the advantage standing hurting Hallmann more than being hurt. It was not clear by the time the fight had ended though as Tibau and Hallmann had landed their shots and taken control of the fight at different times. In the end it was Tibau who took home the win via split decision. It was his second win in a row as he looks to continue to climb back up the division rankings. It was not an overly impressive win for the Brazilian which will not be a good thing for his chances as he has to impress to be noticed in the lightweight division. The loss for Hallmann is his second in four fights as he continues to develop into a true contender in the division.

Fight Bonuses

Performance of the Night
Arlovski looked to make a big impression in his second fight back in the UFC and he did just that earning an extra bonus for his knockout of Silva in the first round of the main event at UFC Fight Night 51

Performance of the Night
A preliminary fight caught the attention of the UFC when Godofredo Pepey earned a big win against Dashon Johnson where he locked in a Triangle-Armbar in the first round of their preliminary fight to earn a fight bonus

Fight of the Night
It was a close match and clearly the closest of the night with Tibau and Hallmann fighting to a split decision while both fighters exchanged blows throughout the entire fight as both fighters earned an extra payday

 

Fight Results

Main Event:
Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski def. Antônio “Bigfoot” Silva
(KO; Rd. 1)

Main Card:
Gleison Tibau def. Piotr “Płetwal” Hallmann
(Split Decision)

Leonardo Santos def. Efrain “Hecho en Mexico” Escudero
(Unanimous Decision)

Santiago “Gente Boa” Ponzinibbio def. Wendell “The Machine” Oliveira
(KO; Rd. 1)

Iuri “Marajó” Alcântara def. Russell Doane
(Unanimous Decision)

Jéssica “Bate Estaca” Andrade def. Larissa Pacheco
(Submission; Guillotine Choke, Rd. 1)

Undercard:
Godofredo “Pepey” Pepey def. Dashon “Fly Boy” Johnson
(Submission; Triangle Armbar, Rd. 1)

George Sullivan def. Igor Araújo
(TKO, Rd. 2)

Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo def. Leandro “Buscapé” Silva
(Unanimous Decision)

Sean “Black Magik” Spencer def. Paulo Thiago
(Unanimous Decision)

Rani Yahya def. “Brutal” Johnny Bedford
(Submission; Kimura, Rd. 2)

 

Upcoming Events

UFC Fight Night 52: Hunt vs. Nelson (Saturday September 20th; 1:00 am ET)
Saitama, Japan (Saitama Super Arena)
Main Event: Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt vs. Roy “Big Country” Nelson
Notable: Myles “The Fury” Jury vs. Takanori “The Fireball Kid” Gomi
Notable: Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama vs. Amir Sodollah

UFC 178: Johnson vs. Cariaso (Saturday September 27th; 10:00 pm ET)
Las Vegas, Nevada (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Main Event: Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson vs. Chris “Kamikaze” Cariaso [Flyweight Title]
Notable: Eddie “The Silent Assassin” Alvarez vs. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone
Notable: “Notorious” Conor McGregor vs. Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier

UFC Fight Night 53: Nelson vs. Story (Saturday October 4th; 12:00 pm ET)
Stockholm, Sweden (Ericsson Globe Arena)
Main Event: Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson vs. Rick “The Horror” Story
Notable: Max “Blessed” Holloway vs. Akira Corassani
Notable: Ilir “The Sledgehammer” Latifi vs. Jan “Książę Cieszyński” Błachowicz

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