Both Andre Arlovski and Brendan Schaub put in a relatively cautious performance at UFC 174 tonight and in the end, despite an underwhelming return to the Octagon it’s Arlovski who emerges with the split decision win.
Both men keeping their distance to start this heavyweight fight. Arlovski suddenly rushes in with a couple of punches and then clinches up against the cage.
A few knees from Arlovski to his opponent’s leg. Not much action happening other than a few knees and then Schaub spins away.
Big right and a left lands for Schaub that backs up Arlovski. Then Schaub goes back to staying out of range, circling on the outside.
Arlovski looks to land a strike and Schaub ducks and attempts to clinch, but it’s Arlovski who ends up muscling him to the cage.
Another stalemate from the clinch until Schaub is able to push him away and they reset. Schaub wades in and lands a big uppercut, but there’s gaps in his defense as he attacks if ‘Pit Bull’ can find a way to exploit it.
Schaub trying to clinch again and Arlovski stays strong and threatens with a takedown that doesn’t pay off and Schaub spins away.
Still quite cautious work from both men and then Arlovski lands a glancing blow and clinches against the cage yet again with little work to show from the position. They break apart in the final 10 seconds and Schaub goes in for a takedown, but it’s not an effective attempt.
Schaub touches Arlovski’s chin with a punch and Arlovski lands a kick to the groin that forces a brief stoppage.
Schaub ducks down and tries to land a punch as he moves in, but misses and resets.
Arlovski closing in now and lands to the body and head as he looks for the clinch. Light knees again from him and then nothing much at all.
They break apart and Arlovski gets a couple of punches off. Missed punch from Schaub. Then Schaub comes back with another couple of punches that land this time.
Arlovski tries a kick that glances of Schaub’s shoulder. Schaub with an overhand and Arlovski just misses with a counter.
They clinch up at the center of the cage and Schaub runs him over to the cage. Another stalemate and they jockey for position. Schaub powers forward with a takedown and gets Arlovski down, but only for an instant.
Schaub stepping forward with another big punch that doesn’t quite land.
Jab from Schaub but nothing else behind it. Another big wind up over the top from Schaub and a counter from Arlovski. Still very tense, hesitant exchanges here.
Big uppercut lands for Schaub. A brief clinch and then they let go. Final 10 seconds and Schaub misses with a punch and is tagged with a few in return from Arlovski.
Punch to the body from Schaub. Overhand just misses from Schaub. Schaub comes in again and Arlovski counters effectively this time.
Referee calls a very brief stoppage for a suspected clash of heads and they clinch when the action resumes. Schaub goes for a takedown and this time he lands it and keeps Arlovski down.
Working inside Arlovski’s guard now and landing some ground and pound. He thinks about passing the guard, then opts to just stay their and land more punches.
Half way through the round now. some offense from Schaub, but nothing too heavy. He postures up and lands a little more forcefully, then plays it safe again.
A few more hurtful blows land and Arlovski manages to kick him off and get back upright. Immediately Schaub rushes him and presses him up against the cage, failing with a trip takedown attempt.
Arlovski reverses the position and then they break apart. Last 30 seconds and Arlovski’s looking to land something big, but when he wades in with a punch Schaub ducks under and tries for a takedown that doesn’t pay off.
Arlovski again comes forward with one last flurry, but again Schaub ducks and the fight comes to an end.
It’s not clear exactly where it happened, but Schaub appears to have broken his jaw sometime in the final stages of the fight.
To add to his misery it’s Arlvoski who gets the split decision victory (29-28 x2, 28-29).