Saturday, September 3 from 2pm at Barclaycard Arena, Hamburg, Germany
FOR the first time ever, the UFC travels to Hamburg in Germany for a main event which sees two of the sport’s elder statesmen go head-to-head.
Veteran heavyweights Josh Barnett and Andrei Arlovski face off in a match that has been a long time coming.
Despite having almost 40 years combined experience in the octagon, the pair have never met in a professional fight.
The 37-year-old Arlovski is looking to get his career back on track after two straight losses which derailed his title aspirations.
Barnett – who is one year the elder – will be fighting for just the third time in two years.
A win for the American Barnett will hand him two wins from his last three bouts.
In a weaker heavyweight division, a victory to either fighter could reignite their title aspirations.
Barnett trained to take on ‘a dangerous cornered animal’
Josh Barnett’s UFC Fight Night opponent Andrei Arlovski may be coming off the back off two straight losses, but the American heavyweight is refusing to take him lightly.
While the 38-year-old Barnett goes in supremely confident of coming away triumphant he is wary of what the Belarusian brings to the octagon.
“He’s done so much over so long of a career and everybody has witnessed his talent time and again. But, I’d like to think that whatever he possess now is not going to be good enough.” Banett said.
“I have to go out there and implement my will upon him. But, knowing how tough Andrei Arlovski is meant that I had to train incredibly hard, I had to keep a lot of things in mind while I was training to perfect my approach for this fight.
“He is not someone to take lightly and he isn’t somebody to underestimate.”
Before his losses to Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem, Arlovski was on the brink of title contention after a sensational string of wins.
Barnett said he knows how combative his opponent can be and he took that knowledge to training camp in preparation for the bout.
“I have ultimate faith in who I am and in what I possess to go into that cage. Knowing that, it doesn’t diminish the fact of how dangerous of an opponent of how Andrei Arlovski is.
“He’s coming off of two loses, but like people always say, it’s like a cornered animal.”
Who will win and why
Odds provided by bovada.lv
A battle of the old men awaits UFC fans in Germany as Josh Barnett locks horns with fellow veteran Andrei Arlovski.
The pair match up incredibly-well.
The bout should remain an on-feet battle given Arlovski has sensational takedown defense while Barnett’s takedown game is underwhelming.
Arlovski has been accused of having a weak chin in the past, but given he has not been knocked out since returning to the UFC, those criticisms may be unfounded.
Barnett incredibly has not lost any speed or power in his advanced age, which means he should be able to match up well against his opponent from a striking standpoint.
As all fight fans know however, you do not know you have lost it on the big stage until you step out and get found out.
Barnett will aim to do his best work in the clinch, close the range and accrue points through short-range blows that will wear down the 37-year-old over time.
Arlovski was on a magnificent run prior to his two losses, and we are predicting that he will be able to bounce back to his best against a part-time fighter who is closing in on retirement.
We are backing the Belarusian to win at decent odds.
Other fights on the card
Alexander Gustafsson -650 vs Jan Blachowicz +425
Peter Sobotta -115 vs Nicolas Dalby -115
Scott Askham -115 vs Jack Hermansson -115