Andrei Arlovski emerged with a split decision win over Jake Collier tonight at UFC On ESPN 35, but whether that was the right verdict is very much up for debate.
Front kick attempt from Arlovski. They clinch up and Collier presses Arlovski into the cage. He attempts to trip him, but Arlovski keeps his balance.
Hard knees to the thighs from Collier. Arlovski manages to break free and go back to striking range. Body punch from Collier, but misses on an overhand.
Collier back into the clinch against the cage and landing knees to the thighs again. Again Arlovski breaks free.
Overhand from Collier only partially gets through, but Arlovski didn’t particularly like that. Arlovski with an elbow now.
Hook lands for Collier and then another one soon after. Arlovski with a right hand. Stepping jab from Arlovski, but then a clash of heads forces a very brief stoppage.
Arlovski stepping into a right hand. Solid elbow from Collier opens up a cut to Arlovski’s right eyebrow near the nose and Collier then goes into the clinch. It’s not long before Arlovski gets away though.
Knee from Arlovski at close range. Clipping left hook from Collier. Now a glancing overhand right. Leg kick for Collier and one from Arlovski. left hand for Collier as they both looked to land heavy leather. Arlovski returns fire with a short flurry.
Good jab from Collier. he lands again. Now a leg kick. Arlovski was complaining about another clash of heads their. Front kick to the body from Arlovski. Jab again for Collier.
Collier wades into the clinch after landing a left hand. Arlovski gets away. Lead elbow from Arlovski. Now an uppercut gets through and more punches behind it.
Solid jab from Collier sets Arlovski back on his heels for a moment. Hard left hook from Collier.
Front kick to the body for Arlovski. Leg kick for him and now a right hand. A couple of right hooks lands for collier and then eats a counter right from Arlovski.
Right hand gets through again from Arlovski. Collier goes into the clinch against the cage. Collier looks to trip him and then turns into a nice takedown. Arlovski drives back up to his feet quickly, but Collier remains locked onto his back. Arlovski turns into him and breaks away though, avoiding a spinning backfist in the process.
Combo from Arlovski and then a solid punch in return from Collier. A couple of punches land again for Collier. He scores with a hook.
Final seconds of the round and Arlovski wades in letting his hands go looking to make a statement, but Collier returns fire with heavy punches.
Jab for Collier. He feels out with punches and throws a knee too. A couple of punches get through for Collier and Arlovski backs off for now.
Leg kick for Collier. Now another kick from him with power. Jab for Arlovski. Grazing right hand from him. Collier pumps out the jab. Clash of heads as they step into range and Arlovski seemed to get the worse of that one as they take a brief break to recover.
Inside leg kick for Collier. Both men swing and miss. Front kick to the body from Arlovski. Slight clash of heads again.
Hard left hand from Collier. Inside leg kick from Arlovski. he tries for a head kick but it’s blocked. Right hand for Arlovski but then Collier returns fire.
Head kick attempt from Collier, but it was telegraphed. Short flurry from Arlovski. Inside leg kick from Arlovski, but then Collier wades forward with several punches getting through. They clinch up, but only momentarily.
Jab from Arlovski and then Collier grabs his head and drags him down looking for a knee. They split apart as Collier attempts a spinning backfist but misses.
A couple of jabs from Collier. Final minute of the fight. Glancing left hand counter from Arlovski. Jab for Collier. Solid one-two from Collier.
Leg kick from Arlovski, right hand lands for Collier. Leg kick again from Arlovski. Right hand and a glancing left for Collier. Spinning backfist attempt from Arlovski, but Collier ducks under and lands a timely takedown in the final seconds of the fight.
A competitive heavyweight scrap here then, but Collier appeared to be landing the more meaningful blows throughout and even landed a late takedown. However two of the judges see it differently and it’s Arlovski who emerges with a controversial split decision win (27-30, 29-28 x2).