sWelcome to our live coverage of UFC Fight Night 93: Arlovski vs. Barnett, emanating from the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany.
The event is headlined by a heavyweight clash between two former UFC Heavyweight Champions as Andrei Arlovski takes on Josh Barnett. A pair of light heavyweight bout round out the top three as former top contender Alexander Gustafsson returns to action against Jan Blachowicz, while Ryan Bader squares off against Ilir Latifi.
Follow along with our live coverage of the event beginning at 11:45 AM EST with preliminary action all the way thru the main card.
Some additional coverage:
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC FIGHT PASS- 11:45 AM ET/8:45 AM PT)
RUSTAM KHABILOV (19-3, 5-2 UFC) VS. LEANDRO SILVA (19-4-1 1 NC, 3-3 1 NC UFC)
ROUND 1- They had an early feeling out process with both men landing strikes but neither dominating on the feet. Khabilov was getting the upper hand on the feet and then started working for takedowns, but Silva had good defense. Silva rocked Khabilov with a left hand and got a takedown into mount with less than a minute to go but Khabilov was able to reverse and ended the round on top landing strikes. A close round but Silva rocking Khabilov and getting the takedown won him the round. 10-9 Silva.
ROUND 2- They traded strikes on the feet with both equally landing but Khabilov landing with more power. The pace really slowed and Khabilov started working for the takedown and got it with an inside trip. Silva showed good defense and went for sweeps but Khabilov landed some punches from inside the guard. Not much to the round as both were tentative on the feet but Khabilov got it with the takedown. 10-9 Khabilov, 19-19.
ROUND 3- Silva landed early and Khabilov went for a takedown but it was defended well. They were warned to work and Khabilov went back to the takedown game but Silva showed good defense. Khabilov got the takedown with over a minute left after working hard for it and started landing punches. They got back to their feet and both started landing and Silva had a takedown stuffed and Khabilov landed to end the fight. Close fight. 10-9 Khabilov, 29-28 Khabilov.
Official Result- Rustam Khabilov def. Leandro Silva by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
INSTANT ANALYSIS- The 30-27 score was perplexing as it was a close fight but Silva definitely got the first round. Neither man was overly impressive but Rustam Khabilov did enough to get the win. He isn't on the same level as he was years ago before fighting Benson Henderson, but that is now three straight wins. He is coming back along nicely. Leandro Silva showed solid takedown defense against a heavy wrestler, and he landed good on the feet, but he couldn't block the takedowns when needed. He's lost two straight, but this was a solid effort and he should be back for another UFC fight.
SCOTT ASKHAM (14-2, 2-2 UFC) VS. JACK HERMANSSON (13-2, 0-0 UFC)
ROUND 1- They traded early and both men got in good punches. They both landed uppercuts in a clinch. Askham landed a solid uppercut at range. They traded big kicks and Askham landed some knees in a clinch. It was a close round but Askham did more with his striking and worked better in the clinches. 10-9 Askham.
ROUND 2- Hermansson came out aggressive but Askham started to get more aggressive in response. Askham was landing cleaner but Hermansson started to come back strong. Hermansson landed some uppercuts in close range. Hermansson with a strong second half of the round closed out with a takedown got this round for him. 10-9 Hermansson, 19-19.
ROUND 3- Hermansson turned on the striking but got a takedown. Askham worked for submissions but they got to their feet. Hermansson started to land a lot of punches. Askham found himself against the fence too much and he ate punches due to it. Askham survived and started to land late and had Hermansson defending a choke late. Askham came on and won the last minute but may have been too little too late. 10-9 Hermansson, 29-28 Hermansson.
Official Result- Jack Hermansson def. Scott Askham by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
INSTANT ANALYSIS- A solid back-and-forth fight by both men and it was a lot closer than the two 30-27 scores indicate. Jack Hermansson has now win nine straight fights and will be a solid addition to European UFC cards, but I'm not sure he'll ever be a true contender in a stacked middleweight division. Scott Askham is now 2-3 in the UFC but has had entertaining fights, and he hasn't been stopped in his career yet. He showed good skills but fell down early in each round, which has hindered him before. He will be back in the future as he has some solid talent.
JARJIS DANHO (6-1 1 NC, 0-1 UFC) VS. CHRISTIAN COLOMBO (8-1, 0-0 UFC)
ROUND 1- Danho was looking at the clock very early but landed right hands. Danho was only looking to land that right hand and work in the clinch. Colombo was getting the upper hand in the clinch. Danho didn't do much but landed some solid punches and ate an illegal knee. Colombo got docked a point for the illegal strike. They got back to action and not much happened. 9-9.
ROUND 2- They both traded and Colombo fell to the mat and Danho pounced. Colombo started to land some heavy knees. Danho used the same punch then clinch strategy. Both men very tired. Colombo had Danho in trouble. Colombo landed some knees to the body. Colombo had Danho in trouble at the end. This fight is ugly. 10-9 Colombo, 19-18 Colombo.
ROUND 3- They landed punches and both men are tired. Colombo was landing knees to the body. Danho looked like he could pass out at any second. This is honestly one of the worst fights I've seen in a while. Colombo went for a kimura and slipped and Dahno ended on top. They got up and Danho landed a few punches that cut open Colombo. Colombo landed some knees towards the end. I don't know who won this fight. 10-9 Danho, 28-28.
Official Result- Jarjis Danho vs. Christian Colombo ruled a majority draw (27-29, 28-28, 28-28)
INSTANT ANALYSIS- This fight was awful. I don't know what to really say. Jarjis Danho got tired quickly and looked like he was going to pass out at any time. Christian Colombo was slow and sluggish and couldn't finish Danho when he should have. Colombo would have gotten the decision if he didn't get deducted a point, which was questionable. A bad heavyweight fight I don't wanna speak of again.
TAYLOR LAPILUS (10-2, 2-1 UFC) VS. LEANDRO ISSA (13-5, 2-2 UFC)
ROUND 1- Issa was just working for takedown after takedown and got a couple. It was clear he didn't wanna stand with Lapilus. Lapilus was getting the better in the clinch. Lapilus landed a lot of punches on the feet and had Issa rocked. Lapilus with some big punches towards the end of the round. 10-9 Lapilus.
ROUND 2- Lapilus just getting the better of the striking battle. Issa spent time running away from danger. Issa landed some power kicks but Lapilus kept landing power punches and blocking takedown attempts from Issa. Issa was able to grab the neck and pull guard but Lapilus escaped and landed from the top as the round ended. 10-9 Lapilus, 20-18 Lapilus.
ROUND 3- Issa down two rounds and went to work for the takedown but it was defended by Lapilus. Lapilus stunned Issa with a left hand and had Issa running away. Issa went back for the takedowns but couldn't get them and ate elbows and punches from Lapilus. Lapilus with several left hands but Issa got a scramble takedown but they got right back up. Lapilus landed at the end. This should be a shutout for Lapilus. 10-9 Lapilus, 30-27 Lapilus.
Official Result- Taylor Lapilus def. Leandro Issa by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
INSTANT ANALYSIS- The 29-28 score is another indication of bad judging, though it hasn't robbed a fighter of a decision yet. Taylor Lapilus had a disciplined performance and showed some excellent striking skills and was able to defend takedowns and showed he can be a future contender with more seasoning. Leandro Issa was unable to execute his gameplan and it was obvious he couldn't stand with Lapilus as he kept running from trouble instead of trying to engage. Falling to 2-3 in the Octagon, it could be the end of him in the UFC for now.
(#13) ASHLEE EVANS-SMITH (4-1, 1-1 UFC) VS. VERONICA MACEDO (5-0, 0-0 UFC)
ROUND 1- Macedo landed some kicks early. Evans-Smith was working to establish the clinch and work for takedowns as Macedo was getting the better of the striking. Evans-Smith got the takedown. She flattened Macedo out and was dominant from the top. Evans-Smith almost had a kimura but Macedo scrambled to her feet. They traded to end a good round of action. 10-9 Evans-Smith.
ROUND 2- Macedo landed a head kick and they went right to the clinch. Macedo went for a kneebar but it was defended. They worked in the clinch with both landing before they broke. Evans-Smith out-muscling Macedo in the clinch. Macedo rolled for a kneebar but gave up top position and Evans-Smith capitalized. Evans-Smith with a hip throw at the end after landing some punches. 10-9 Evans-Smith, 20-18 Evans-Smith.
ROUND 3- Evans-Smith defended the takedown and ended on top and started to land lots of punches and tons of big elbows and the fight was stopped by the referee. It should have been stopped much sooner. Impressive finish by Evans-Smith.
Official Result- Ashlee Evans-Smith def. Veronica Macedo by TKO (elbows) at 2:46 of Round 3
INSTANT ANALYSIS- Ashlee Evans-Smith scored the first finish of the card and was impressive in doing so. She has only fought five times in her career and this was her best showing so far in her young career. She looks like an evolving future contender. Veronica Macedo is just 20-years-old and only made her debut in March, but she has already fought a lot. The inexperience showed here but she did start off strong. She'll be back with hopefully some time away to improve her skills as she is a raw talent.
PETER SOBOTTA (15-5-1, 2-4 UFC) VS. NICOLAS DALBY (14-1-1, 1-1-1 UFC)
ROUND 1- Sobotta dropped Dalby with a big left hand and swarmed on with a lot of punches looking to finish. Dalby survived. Sobotta with lots of control on the top in side control and he did great at keeping Dalby down on the mat. Sobotta was able to take the back and looked for the choke and had it in for a moment. Dalby survived the round but it was a big one for Sobotta. 10-8 Sobotta.
ROUND 2- Dalby poked Sobotta right in the eye and we had a long break in action. Sobotta dragged Dalby to the mat. Sobotta landing lots of punches from the half-guard. Dalby was just unable to get himself off the mat though he created space and landed some from the bottom. It was just suffocating top pressure from Sobotta who landed punches and worked for some submissions. Dalby survived for the third. 10-9 Sobotta, 20-17 Sobotta.
ROUND 3- Dalby has to finish Sobotta here. They were trading on the feet and Dalby actually getting the better of it. They traded kicks and Sobotta landed a nice left hand. Sobotta landed a body kick and got a takedown. Dalby doing nothing to get up. Sobotta controlling on the mat and grabs the neck. Dalby got to his feet and Sobotta dragged the fight to the end. 10-9 Sobotta, 30-26 Sobotta.
Official Result- Peter Sobotta def. Nicolas Dalby by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
INSTANT ANALYSIS- This was the best performance of Peter Sobotta's UFC career. He dominated a tough Nicolas Dalby and showed great takedowns and great top control. Dalby had no answer for him and struggled to get to his feet. With just one win in four UFC fights, he may be headed back to the regional promotions. He has good talent but is missing something when fighting inside the Octagon.
JESSIN AYARI (15-3, 0-0 UFC) VS. JIM WALLHEAD (29-9, 0-0 UFC)
ROUND 1- They had a feeling out process to start off with both men landing. Wallhead landed a leg kick and a glancing punch that sent Ayari to the mat for a second. Wallhead landed the right hand. They are still feeling each other out and neither man has been able to capitalize much. It was a close round. 10-9 Wallhead.
ROUND 2- Wallhead landed two big punches and had Ayari backtracking. Ayari throwing big punches from outside range but just isn't engaging and Wallhead lands more big punches. Wallhead spent the round stalking down Ayari and he was getting the better of the action on the feet. Lots of boos coming from the crowd as there is not a whole lot of action. Wallhead lands a combo at the end. 10-9 Wallhead, 20-18 Wallhead.
ROUND 3- This fight is very close after two uneventful rounds. Ayari mixing strikes more and lands to the body. Both men trying to land punches and missing badly and the fans are not happy about it. It is a boring fight. Ayari landed a solid combo. Wallhead dropped Ayari with a big left hook. Wallhead went for the finish but couldn't get it as Ayari got to his feet. Ayari survived and came back strong late in the fight. Wallhead stunned Ayari at the end. Stong finish for both after a boring fight. 10-9 Wallhead, 30-27 Wallhead.
Official Result- Jessin Ayari def. Jim Wallhead by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
INSTANT ANALYSIS- I don't agree with this decision as I thought Wallhead won the fight. He definitely didn't lose all three rounds. The rounds were close though except the third. As for the fight, it was rather uneventful and quite boring until a strong third round. Both men were debuting and will be back. It should be a disappointing loss for Wallhead who fought so long to get to the UFC and he will have his back against the wall in his next bout. Ayari has some clear improvement he needs to make.
MAIN CARD (UFC FIGHT PASS- 3 PM ET/12 PM PT)
NICK HEIN (13-2 1 NC, 3-1 UFC) VS. TAE HYUN BANG (18-9, 2-2 UFC)
ROUND 1- They didn't do much early then both men landed punches. Bang landed a solid combo. Hein got a takedown off a right hand and was able to hold Bang down for a good minute. They traded punches and Hein was getting the better of the striking. Neither man did much outside of a takedown from Hein. 10-9 Hein.
ROUND 2- Bang came out with punches and knocked Hein down for a second but Hein got up and went to work in the clinch. They broke and both men continued to feel each other out. Neither man is doing much to win this fight. Hein got a solid takedown after not doing anything on the feet but Bang got up. Bang with a judo throw. Another boring round. 10-9 Hein, 20-18 Hein.
ROUND 3- Let's see if something, anything, happens here. They are still feeling each other out. They butted heads and Bang is cut open. They keep going but both men just winging punches. Hein misses a takedown. There haven't been as many boring fights this year than this one. Bang tried to land a combo but Hein was running away. Bang did land. Both landed punches. Thankfully this one is over. 10-9 Hein, 30-27 Hein.
Official Result- Nick Hein def. Tae Hyun Bang by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-28, 30-27)
INSTANT ANALYSIS- There have been some bad fights tonight and this one was definitely the worst. One of the most boring fights this year, and personally, I hated this one. Nick Hein is 4-1 in the UFC and they have all been boring decision wins. He takes no chances and does nothing in going for a finish, and is one of the most boring fighters in the UFC, and I don't think he really belongs in there as he doesn't even face tough competition, having been known for turning down hard fights. I know that sounds like a huge shot at the guy, but he has shown nothing of value. Tae Hyun Bang couldn't get off any offense and he is just as much at fault for a boring fight. With a 2-3 UFC record and this performance, I don't think he'll be back.
(#4) RYAN BADER (20-5, 13-5 UFC) VS. (#12) ILIR LATIFI (12-4 1 NC, 5-2 UFC)
ROUND 1- They had a feeling out process early with both men missing punches. Bader hurt him with a body kick. Latifi was looking to land that big punch but Bader was expecting it and keeping his distance. Latifi tried a takedown off a brief clinch but Bader defended it strongly. Latifi landed an overhand right twice that hit the arm of Bader. Latifi drops Bader with a right hand and rocked him at the end of the round. 10-9 Latifi.
ROUND 2- Bader landed a right hand. Latifi surges forward with punches looking to land a big one. Latifi stuffed a takedown attempt and landed a right hand. Out of nowhere Bader lands a big knee to the face and Latifi is out cold! Big knockout win from Bader.
Official Result- Ryan Bader def. Ilir Latifi by knockout (knee) at 2:06 of Round 2
INSTANT ANALYSIS- This was close until the end. Ilir Latifi was getting the better of the battle and left himself open, and Ryan Bader capitalized by landing that huge knee to knock Latifi out cold. Bader was in trouble but fought back and got the finish, his first one in over three-and-a-half years. He is still a contender but has to beat a top contender if he is ever going to get a title shot. Latifi is a solid gatekeeper in the division but after this, I don't see him ever getting into title contention. He was doing well until the end.
(#2) ALEXANDER GUSTAFSSON (16-4, 8-4 UFC) VS. JAN BLACHOWICZ (19-5, 2-2 UFC)
ROUND 1- Blachowicz landing a lot of punches early. Gustafsson is bleeding early. Gustafsson lands a right hand and goes into the clinch. Gustafsson unable to land his punches and now Blachowicz lands some uppercuts in the clinch. Blachowicz lands to the body and Gustafsson gets a trip takedown into guard. Gustafsson lands some elbows inside the guard and closes the round out on top. I don't think it was enough to warrant him winning the round. 10-9 Blachowicz.
ROUND 2- Both men come out swinging and land punches and Gustafsson gets a big takedown twenty seconds into the round. Gustafsson with an elbow and he has cut Blachowicz open. Gustafsson tried a step over but Blachowicz able to keep him in the guard. Blachowicz is just struggling to get out of the bottom. Gustafsson with more of a barrage of punches and elbows from the top. Gustafsson went to his feet and went back into guard with some punches. 10-9 Gustafsson, 19-19.
ROUND 3- Gustafsson with a big right hand. Gustafsson takes this fight right back to the ground with a quick takedown and is in the guard. Gustafsson with some elbows from the top. Gustafsson with smothering top control and Blachowicz doing nothing to get up but they get stood up. Gustafsson gets another takedown back into the guard and this should close out the fight. Gustafsson with punches from the top and a big elbow. He finishes out strong with ground-and-pound. 10-9 Gustafsson, 29-28 Gustafsson.
Official Result- Alexander Gustafsson def. Jan Blachowicz by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
INSTANT ANALYSIS- A nice comeback for Alexander Gustafsson after being controlled by Jan Blachowicz in the opening minutes. I don't agree with the straight 30-27 scores as I saw Blachowicz doing enough on the feet to win the first, and that shows how much the judges value takedowns. But, it was a close round. Gustafsson did what he needed to do to win the fight in getting the takedowns, and signs of ring rust were apparent. He will be looking to get into title contention quickly, and perhaps a fight with Ryan Bader should be next as they have never fought each other. Blachowicz is now 2-3 in the UFC and is in gatekeeper mode, but I am sure we will see him again early next year.
(#6) ANDREI ARLOVSKI (25-12 1 NC, 14-6 UFC) VS. (#9) JOSH BARNETT (34-8, 6-3 UFC)
ROUND 1- They both rocked each other and dropped each other in the first 30 seconds. Both survived and right into the clinch. Arlovski with an elbow on the break. They clinch and Arlovski with a trip takedown into the half-guard. Arlovski is bleeding from his forehead. Arlovski with a big combo that had Barnett in trouble. Back to the clinch seeing Barnett looking for the takedown. Unable to get the takedown as the round ends. 10-9 Arlovski.
ROUND 2- Barnett with a right hand and they go into the clinch. Not much happened as Barnett controlled the clinch but they eventually got broken up. They trade punches and Arlovski lands big and they clinch back up. Arlovski gets the takedown but Barnett reverses into full mount. Barnett with some short elbows from the top as he was looking for a submission. Barnett with some heavy ground-and-pound and looking for the finish. Arlovski survives but a big round for Barnett. 10-9 Barnett, 19-19.
ROUND 3- They trade big punches and Barnett lands. Arlovski with some uppercuts and a big knee and Barnett is in trouble. He has an issue with his eye but Arlovski was unable to capitalize. Barnett grabs the arm and sweeps for the armbar but gets on top. Barnett gets to the back and has the rear-naked choke in. Arlovski taps! Big submission win for Barnett.
Official Result- Josh Barnett def. Andrei Arlovski by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:53 of Round 3
INSTANT ANALYSIS- This was a fun fight and both men had each other in trouble. Andrei Arlovski was unable to capitalize on the striking advantage and got tired early, which hurt him as the fight went along. It is now three straight losses for him, and you have to wonder where he goes from here. I don't see him being cut, but there's little chance of him ever fighting for a title now. Josh Barnett bounced back nicely, and if it weren't for a small mistake against Ben Rothwell, he might be right on the cusp of a title fight. He's still the best heavyweight on the ground, and now he is primed for a big fight.
FINAL THOUGHTS- This was one of the more uneventful UFC events of the year. There were a lot of boring fights, and a very bad fight in the Nick Hein against Tae Hyun Bang fight. The main event delivered a solid fight, and the highlight of the event was Ryan Bader's knockout of Ilir Latifi. Alexander Gustafsson and Ashlee Evans-Smith also had solid performances. This isn't an event worth going out of your way to see as nothing was memorable, but a good main event between Josh Barnett and Andrei Arlovski.