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Andrei Arlovski vs. Tai Tuivasa UFC 225 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 6/9/18

Tuivasa vs. Arlovski

UFC: Saturday, June 9, 2018 (United Center)

The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: PPV

Andrei Arlovski and Tai Tuivasa fight Saturday during UFC 225 at the United Center.

Andrei Arlovski enters this fight with a 27-15 record and has won 63 percent of his fights by knockout. Arlovski has split his last 10 fights and is coming off a March win over Stefan Struve. Arlovski is averaging 3.23 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 42.9 percent. Arlovski is averaging 0.56 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 37.5 percent. Arlovski is coming off a quick turnaround after just fighting in March, and he has a shot at three straight wins for the first time since 2014-15. Arlovski is coming off a fight in which he landed 76 strikes and produced four takedowns, getting the decision victory. It wasn’t that long ago when Arlovski was riding a five-fight losing streak, but the 39-year-old has shown recently there’s still something left in the tank. Arlovski is a terrific striker who lands extremely powerful punches and has produced 17 career knockouts. Arlovski will always have a chance given his power shots, and he’s a polished grappler who does a good job of controlling the octagon and pressuring his opponent. Arlovski does have a questionable chin and has been knocked out 10 times himself, but he has to like his chances as long as he stays busy. This will be Arlovski’s first career fight in Chicago, the city he’s fighting out of. 

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Andrei Arlovski vs. Tai Tuivasa UFC 225 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 6/9/18

Stewart Allen-USA TODAY Sports

Tai Tuivasa enters this fight with a 9-0 record and has won 100 percent of his fights by knockout. This will be Tuivasa’s third fight since 2017, and he’s coming off a February win over Cyril Asker. Tuivasa is averaging 8.72 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 68.9 percent. Tuivasa is averaging zero takedowns with an accuracy percentage of zero percent. Tuivasa is now 2-0 under the UFC banner and is coming off a fight in which he landed 38 significant strikes and got a first round knockout. Tuivasa has now won all nine of his fights by knockout and every one of them has ended in the first round. Tuivasa is comfortable when he’s able to pressure his opponent and land his aggressive combinations, and nobody has been able to beat him at his stand up yet. However, endurance is still a question considering he’s never fought outside of the first round, as well as how he will hold up if taken down against a quality wrestler. We have yet to see Tuivasa on the canvas in the UFC, but his ground skills will be tested at some point, and that could be an area of weakness for the young Aussie. This will be Tuivasa’s first career fight outside of Australia.

I want to see how Tuivasa performs against a quality wrestler and a guy who will force him to fight outside of his comfort zone. We know he can knock dudes out from a standup position, but at some point he has to show there’s more tools in that toolbox. Arlovski is a decent grappler and will hope to wear down the heavy handed puncher, but he doesn’t have the ground game and wrestling ability to really bother Tuivasa. As long as Tuivasa can avoid takedowns and can remain in position to land a clean strike, he has to be the favorite to win.

I like Tuivasa to remain undefeated.

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