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Arlovski vs Rothwell: Appreciation thread for an underrated heavyweight fight.

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by Forever Young, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. Forever Young Balls Deep Belt

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    A little backstory: Arlovski is my favorite heavyweight in history next to the inimitable Cro Cop. Love his style, his personality, everything about the guy. He's fucking awesome and I'll kill you if you disagree.

    That being said, I didn't watch his fight with Rothwell back in 2008. I was a dumb kid, and didn't know how to stream affliction I guess. But I was excited, I had been a quad city silverbacks fanboy, and loved Big Ben as well. Arlovski was, well, Arlovski.

    I saw the gif of the finish on the forums and let out a cheer at the behest of my fellow Wisconisinite, thinking Arlovski had dominated another skilled fighter. I think this reaction was pretty typical. Most of us didn't, don't, watch many events that aren't Zuffa-sponsored in the post-buyout era. But a sweet heavyweight KO is always appreciated.

    Now, on a whim I just watched the full fight:

    [YT]Hqcyssrwy4k[/YT]

    And then I had to watch it again. And then I went back and rewound and rewatched bits and pieces for an hour.

    Holy fucking shit, this is one of the best heavyweight fights of all time. First of all, rankings-wise it wasn't getting any credit, which was bullshit. Rothwell was coming off a nearly yearlong layoff, but was the IFL champ, on a 13-fight win streak over a lot of (at the time) good names: Rodriguez, Soczynski (twice) and Nelson.

    Arlovski meanwhile was fresh of a KO of Jake O'Brien and a UD of Werdum, who despite his awesomeness shouldn't have been ranked higher than these two at the time. Sure it was unenthusiastic, poorly-conditioned Werdum but it's a damn good win nonetheless, and Arlovski should have been ranked a hell of a lot higher than he was at the time.

    As for the fight though, holy shit! Both fighters came in well trained and in amazing shape. Rothwell's striking actually looked good!

    [​IMG]

    Arlovski had to rely on his speed advantage at times like this just to survive. (He should've just taken his head off the center line in this gif and not moved back so much, but seeing as he was used to fighting in a cage where that extended circling works better, we can forgive him) And when Arlovski was using that speed advantage to attack, holy shit was it awesome:

    [​IMG]

    I like this gif because Rothwell actually uses smart defensive tactics. He gets beaten to the punch by the faster Arlovski, so he immediately goes to clinch. Arlovski is having none of it and doesn't relent (because, Arlovski is an impeccable puncher and throws dope-ass combos) so Rothwell fights smart, covers up, and lives to fight on. Whereas modern day Browne would start swinging, or modern day Velasquez would shoot a double leg.

    Speaking of wrestling, I won't gif the whole thing, but the exchange in the last couple minutes of round two, before the standup at 19:40 in the video, is fucking awesome. 8-9 minutes into the fight, two heavyweight strikers are still fighting-grappling very effectively. No one is able to land much ground and pound, but there are extended positional battles the entire time. I shit on the heavyweights a lot for being unable to grapple, but both demonstrated better-than-decent guardwork and top control in this fight. (even if the leglock attempt was a bit sloppy)

    [​IMG]

    Of course, Arlovski does end up landing two sweet fucking combos, the first of which deserves all the praise we can lavish upon it.

    [​IMG]

    And finishing the fight at the outset of the third.

    But here's the thing, it's not just that Arlovski and Rothwell are awesome fighters, but I think this fight is a great showing on both ends. Rothwell looks good everywhere, is in good shape, and is very hard to knock out. Arlovski proves to be a premiere knockout artist by doing that to said hard-to-ko guy, at a time when everyone was seriously doubting him. (Ranked 27th in the world lmao. Fuck that)

    Long story short, this fight is fucking awesome, we should all seriously appreciate the fact that these two are some of the best heavyweights on earth. Either or both could be fighting for the UFC title within 1-2 fights. Realistically, Arlovski should be fighting for the title right now. Regardless, war Rothwell, war Arlovski, fuck everything else.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
  2. Itachi Uchiha Orange Belt

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    Is not underrated. Is just that AA should be fighting for the belt.
     
  3. Forever Young Balls Deep Belt

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    Couldn't agree more. By the time they fight, Cain will have exactly 0 wins in the last two years, and couldn't deserve that title shot any less.

    But I'm not too worried. Arlovski's gonna saw through the ghost of Mir (who I love to death, btw) and Werdum will chop Cain to pieces again. We'll get the fight in due time.
     
  4. Bobs Crook Banned Banned

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    Mate its a waste of a fight
     
  5. Cid Silver Belt

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    I must remember wrong. All I remember is AA laying down a one sided beating.
     
  6. Forever Young Balls Deep Belt

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    Which was the memory I had constructed in my head too, but nah. Rothwell was hanging in there damn well, landed good shots and was winning with much of the grappling. He would have won the second round if not for the BS standup in the last 30 seconds, actually.

    You can argue that he would have gassed in the third and the result would likely be the same, but ehhh...

    Give it a rewatch. Damn good fight.
     
  7. Jermei Steel Belt Platinum Member

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  8. Evangelion Gold Belt

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    A little too well. Hence the reason affliction went broke
     
  9. basedgodfedor Black Belt

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    Who was ranked 27th?? Arlovski was top ten and this win made him number 2
     
  10. Geech Orange Belt

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    Rothwell was not the IFL champ. Is TS making a subtle joke?
     
  11. jessejecmma Green Belt

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    waiting for correction
     
  12. JKS 77+&--#rT....

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    Very good fight here and nice finish
     
  13. Steely Blue Belt

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    great post ts, you only ever see the finishing gif here so the breakdown was good to read.

    both guys are beasts on comebacks, War Big Ben
     
  14. Cptn1NSAN0 shows no mercy

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    That was a good fight, I'll have to go back and rewatch TS. Good to see both guys doing well today.
     
  15. Spath Black Belt

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    I hope Arlovski still has those combos ready to go. When he fought Browne it looked like he only had his right hand to fight with. Right hook, right straight, right uppercut, right hook, right straight, right straight, right uppercut... Come on Andrei, you're better than that!

    It was a great fight though, I was on the edge of my seat and very happy when the referee stopped it. I was very excited when Andrei came back to the UFC.
     
  16. kikikhan Banned Banned

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    Jp. I was very entertaiined:)
     
  17. Kyojiro Kagenuma Black Belt Platinum Member

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    I know this thread is dead as hell, but I'd like to point something out. You see that knee he landed on Ben Rothwell? Because of how well that went, Andrei said himself that for a while he felt he could do anything and it would be amazing. That successful knee is the reason he tried to do a flying knee on Fedor, which is what got his ass knocked out his very next fight. Interesting bit of trivia there.
     
  18. Fight Professor Gold Belt

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    How did that go?
     
  19. Kyojiro Kagenuma Black Belt Platinum Member

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    Sadly he never got the chance before his streak ended. I'm honestly hoping he has one more in him though. It would've been really cool to see a rematch between him and Fabricio Werdum.
     
  20. Huligani Number One Bullshit

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    This fight and Arlovski's knockout of Roy Nelson made me consider Arlovski the hardest hitting heavyweight until Ngannou came around.
     

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