It’s “Do or Die” for two heavyweights at UFC 191, or is it? A fight between veterans Andrei Arlovski and Frank Mir will be the co-main event of the upcoming pay-per-view, this September 5th.
The pair of 36-year-old fighters are in the midst of a resurgence in their pro fighting careers. Mir recently turned around a four-fight losing streak with back-to-back knockout wins over Antonio Silva and Todd Duffee, staving off retirement. Arlovski, currently ranked fourth among heavyweights, has been on a three-fight winning streak since returning to the UFC in June 2014. He started his comeback with a split decision win over Brendan Schaub at UFC 174, but won “Performance of the Night” thanks to a Round 1 TKO over Antonio Silva at UFC Fight Night and won “Fight of the Night” honors after yet another Round 1 TKO; this time over Travis Browne.
Both fighters are former Heavy Weight Champions and are well-respected by their peers. Arlovski is a feared knockout artist, while Mir currently holds the record for most fights, victories, and submissions in UFC Heavyweight history. They have been staples in the heavyweight division for quite some time. Frank first stepped into the eight-sided cage in UFC 34, and won the heavyweight title in UFC 48 after breaking the right forearm of Tim Sylvia in the first round. Mir suffered a motorcycle accident in 2004, leading to the creation of a heavy weight interim title bout between the top two contenders. Andrei claimed the UFC interim heavyweight title in UFC 51 after submitting Tim Sylvia in the first round.
For the 10th ranked Frank Mir, a loss to Arlovski at UFC 191 could derail his hopes for another shot at the heavyweight title for good. The heavyweight division is filled with young heavy hitters and it will be difficult for him to muster this kind of momentum again. While the same could be said about Andrei Arlovski, the Belarusian fighter is not in a hurry to get a title shot. He wants more fights, because more fights lead to more payouts and more income to help him pay the bills.
Unlike some marquee UFC matchups in the past, this one has not been hyped with animosity nor trash talking. In fact it’s quite the opposite. Frank Mir recently shared in an interview that he holds a lot of respect for his opponent.
“In one sense, I’m not happy about it on a social level. I think we both have a lot to offer the sport and I don’t want to see either one of us derailed right now. I would have been much happier with this situation if we could have skipped each other at this point. I could have fought someone else in the top three and he could have fought Werdum for the title and then we could have faced each other in a title fight instead if he would have won,” Mir said.
Regardless of their sentiments towards each other, fans should expect an exciting fight between these seasoned veterans.
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