Ultimate Fight Night – Arlovski vs Barnett – Preview

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September 3, 2016 at Barclaycard Arena, Hamburg, Germany

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Yet another card filled with really tough picks. As you’ll see, I started out making sensible, well thought out decisions, but by the end, I decided to have some fun with the card that has led to a few speculative picks.

Andrei Arlovski vs Josh Barnett

The Pitbull surprised a lot of people with the solid career-saving record he put together between 2011-15. That was a run of 10 wins, punctuated by a lone loss to Anthony Johnson and an iffy NC against Tim Sylvia. That streak finally came to an end with two losses to the guys competing for the Heavyweight title next week, so no shame in that. Barnett hasn’t fought since his loss to Ben Rothwell back in January and although he’s still a tough night for anyone in the division, I’m going with Arlovski to get back in the win column here.

Alexander Gustafsson vs Jan Blachowicz

Gustafsson’s struggled to get back on track since being robbed by the judges in his title fight against Jon Jones at UFC 165. He beat Jimi Manuwa in his next outing but has posted two losses since, albeit to the best in the division, DC and Rumble. On paper, Alex should be too much for Blachowicz, but as much as I like the Swede, I’m going for an upset in this fight. Blachowicz looked pretty good against Igor Pokrajac in April and has the momentum going into this fight. Sorry Alex.

Ryan Bader vs Illr Latifi

This is a good match up for Bader. Although he’s sometimes struggled against real elite strikers, against fellow wrestlers he’s always done really well. Latifi has won his last 3 but against much lower tier opposition to what Bader has been facing and I feel like the style matchup favours Bader.

Nick Hein vs Tae Hyun Bang

How could you not back Sgt Nick Hein to win in Germany? He had to pull out late from the Rotterdam card in May and returning to action against the fantastically named Tae Hyun Bang looks ideal for Hein.

Jessin Ayari vs Jim Wallhead

Judo Jim Wallhead is a well-respected veteran of UK MMA finally getting his crack at the big show, and is riding a 4 fight win streak coming in to it. He’s fighting fellow debutant Ayari, who’s running hot himself, and even with Ayari having home field advantage, I like Wallhead to win.

Peter Sobotta vs Nicolas Dalby

This looks like a fairly even matchup, but for the punt, I’ll back Sobotta, purely as he’s the homegrown fighter.

Scott Askham vs Jack Hermansson

Askham entered the UFC in late 2014 with a perfect 12-0 record, but has gone 2-2 since being signed. Hermansson has a similar 13-2 record, but without the benefit of 4 UFC fights to his name. Backing the Englishman to win.

Rustam Khaboliv vs Leandro Silva

Although both guys have the same number of wins on their record, Khabilov has been fighting a higher level for longer, and I like him to grind out a win here against Silva.

Martin Buschkamp vs Alex Enlund

Two young Featherweights making their UFC debut here. Enlund hasn’t lost since 2013 and Buschkamp has yet to taste defeat in pro competition. I’m going for Enlund due to the shorter commute, and because as I’ve looked down these fights, I’ve decided on a few nationality based accumulators.

Taylor Lapilus vs beat Leandro Issa

For reasons below, I’m backing Taylor Lapilus.

Veronica Macedo vs Ashlee Evans-Smith

Macedo to win, again, see below.

Jarjis Danho vs Christian Colombo

Danho to win, see below

So, as I say, half way down the card, I decided to throw proper reasoning out of the window on some of these fights and have a bit of fun with nationality based accumulators. That does mean some fighters are getting backed a couple of times. It also means I’m backing both guys in the Bader vs Latifi and also the Wallhead vs Ayari fights. For the Perfect Game bet I’m going with Bader and Wallhead:

Soviet Block (ish) Success- £5 returning £71.50

Andrei Arlovski to beat Josh Barnett

Jan Blachowicz to beat Alexander Gustafsson

Rustam Khaboliv to beat Leandro Silva

Swedish Sorrow – £5 returning £64.17

Jan Blachowicz to beat Alexander Gustafsson

Ryan Bader to beat Illr Latifi

Scott Askham to beat Jack Hermansson

Home Field Heroes – £5 returning £27.44

Nick Hein to beat Tae Hyun Bang

Peter Sobotta to beat Nicolas Dalby

Jessin Ayari to beat Jim Wallhead

Brits Abroad – £ returning £

Jim Wallhead to beat Jessin Ayari

Scott Askham to beat Jack Hermansson

Alex Enlund to beat Martin Buschkamp

Brazillian Blow Out – £5 returning £16.96

Alex Enlund to beat Martin Buschkamp

Rustam Khaboliv to beat Leandro Silva

Taylor Lapilus to beat Leandro Issa

American (Bad) Dream – £5 returning £90.92

Andrei Arlovski to beat Josh Barnett

Illr Latifi to beat Ryan Bader

Veronica Macedo to beat Ashlee Evans-Smith

Danish Disaster – £5 returning £17.10

Peter Sobotta to beat Nicolas Dalby

Jarjis Danho vs Christian Colombo

Perfect Game – £1 returning £2448.47

Scott Askham to beat Jack Hermansson

Alex Enlund to beat Martin Buschkamp

Peter Sobotta to beat Nicolas Dalby

Rustam Khaboliv to beat Leandro Silva

Jarjis Danho vs Christian Colombo

Taylor Lapilus to beat Leandro Issa

Veronica Macedo to beat Ashlee Evans-Smith

Jim Wallhead to beat Jessin Ayari

Nick Hein to beat Tae Hyun Bang

Ryan Bader to beat Illr Latifi

Jan Blachowicz to beat Alexander Gustafsson

Andrei Arlovski to beat Josh Barnett

Bet

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I’ll be watching all the build up to this event, plus the exclusive prelims on UFC Fight Pass. There’s also a fantastic collection of original shows and an incredible fight library you can lose yourself in for weeks. To support MMA Flashback, you can click on the banner below and sign up today. You won’t regret it.


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UFC Fight Night – Overeem vs Arlovski – Preview

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May 8, 2016 at Ahoy Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

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Alistair Overeem vs Andre Arlovski

Until he ran into Stipe Miocic at UFC 195, Andre Arlovski’s comeback winning streak had been very impressive. No shame in getting stopped by Miocic either, and I’m sure Andre hasn’t finished making an impact on the heavyweight division. That said, Overeem is putting a decent run of his own together, and I can’t see any way he loses his first fight in the Netherlands since 2009. Overeem is easy to back here.

Antonio Silva vs Stefan Struve

Big Foot is never in a dull fight, but he’s only tasted victory once in the last three years. Struve has really struggled over the last couple of years, with both a parade of extremely tough opponents, and trouble with a heart condition. He may not be the same fighter that put Stipe Miocic away in 2012, but fighting in front of Dutch fans against Big Foot will be huge for him. Happy to get on Sky Scraper to win.

Albert Tumenov vs Gunnar Nelson

Tumenov has put a very impressive 17-2 record together, including 11 KO/TKO finishes. He’s also never been stopped. However, he’s never faced a grappler of Gunnar Nelson’s calibre before and although he’s lost two of his last three, including a fascinating ground battle with Damien Maia, if Gunnar can get his hands on Tumenov, I fancy he could put the first submission loss on that record.

Germaine De Randamie vs Anna Elmose

These aren’t two fighters I know much about if I’m honest, so I would normally stay away from it with my money, but there are several factors that make De Randamie backable. She’s got more experience against higher level opposition, she’s training with champions at AKA and finally, as she’s Dutch she’ll have the crowd behind her. I may have a punt on her.

Nikita Krylov vs Francimar Barroso

With 19-4 and 18-4 records respectively, these two are hard to split. Brazilian Barroso is 3-1 since joining the UFC and has gone the distance in all four, although he does have plenty of finishes earlier record. Win or lose, Krylov rarely gets out of the first round and has both TKO and submission finishes since joining the big show. I’m leaning towards Krylov for another punt bet.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs Heather Jo Clark

At 8-0, Kowalkiewicz has already taken out a TUF 20 competitor in Randa Markos. She’ll get a chance to add another in Clark and go 9-0 here.

When I pick my bets, I look at records, form, style match ups, and any other potential influencing factor, then I make my decision, but I DON’T look at the bookies odds until I’ve got my choices made. This time, with the exception of Gunnar Nelson, I’ve picked five favourites to win, so I’m going to be brave and go for a single six fight accumulator on the main card.

As the event is showing at a very Europe-friendly time, I’m also going to have a real finger in the air hunch bet accumulator on the under card fights (excluding the couple that have VERY late replacements), so I’ve got some skin in the game throughout. For gods’ sake don’t follow me into this one, at least not if you value your money.

Bet 1 – £5 returning £79.10

Alistair Overeem to beat Andre Arlovski

Stefan Struve to beat Antonio Silva

Gunnar Nelson to beat Albert Tumenov

Germaine De Randamie to beat Anna Elmose

Nikita Krylov to beat Francimar Barroso

Karolina Kowalkiewicz to beat Heather Jo Clark

Bet 2 – £5 returning £26.83

Chris Wade to beat Rustam Khabilov

Magnus Cedenbald to beat Garreth McLellan

Yan Cabral to beat Reza Madadi

Bet 3 – £5 returning £31.50

Neil Seery to beat Kyoji Horiguchi

Leon Edwards to beat Dominic Waters

bet 1Remember, by clicking on the Paddy Power banner at the top of this page, opening an account, and doing your sports betting there, you are supporting MMA Flashback, for which I am very grateful.

MMA Flash back encourages you to gamble responsibly and within your limits. If gambling stops being fun, stop. If you feel you have a problem with gambling, seek help from GAMCARE. They can be reached on 0808 8020 133 or http://www.gamcare.org.uk.

I’ll be watching all the build up to this event, plus the exclusive prelims on UFC Fight Pass. There’s also a fantastic collection of original shows and an incredible fight library you can lose yourself in for weeks. To support MMA Flashback, you can click on the banner below and sign up today. You won’t regret it.