HOUSTON, TEXAS – FEBRUARY 12: Andrei Arlovski (C) of Belarus reacts after winning his heavyweight fight against Jared Vanderaa via split decision during UFC 271 at Toyota Center on February 12, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
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Andrei Arlovski uses trademark boxing to fend off Jared Vanderaa.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski showed signs that he’s still in peak physical condition and can box with the top heavyweights in the UFC.
Arlovski had his way in the opening minutes, dictating the pace of the fight and not allowing Jared Vanderaa to get comfortable with his range. Arlovski was able to throw basic combinations that often landed clearly on Vanderaa.
As the fight went on, Vanderaa began to become more confident on the feet and landed some heavy leg kicks. But, Arlovski was able to continue to push the pace and control the center of the octagon.
After three rounds of back-and-forth action, Arlovski earned a split-decision win in the latest victory of his decorated UFC career.
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Arlovski came into the fight off back-to-back solid performances against Carlos Felipe and Chase Sherman. In both fights, he was the underdog and proved he’s still a potential factor in the heavyweight division.
Arlovski has been a mainstay among the heavyweights since his UFC debut back in 2000. Before a hiatus from the promotion to fight at other spots, he earned the heavyweight title after beating Justin Eilers via TKO back at UFC 53.
Vanderaa entered UFC 271 winning three of his last five in the octagon but had yet to show the promise he provided on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2020. He was coming off of a second-round knockout loss to Alexander Romanov after earning his first UFC win over Justin Tafa.
With the win over Vanderaa, Arlovski has a shot to move up the ladder in the heavyweight division in 2022.