It’s hard to find fault in anything that Demetrious Johnson does.
The reigning UFC flyweight champion has destroyed the best of the best in his division since winning the belt. This Saturday night, he’ll look to earn a seventh successful title defense at UFC 191 vs. John Dodson.
But the fight that is sure to bring the Las Vegas and MGM Grand Garden Arena crowd to their feet is the co-main event.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Frank Mir.
Two former heavyweight champions that have found the fountain of youth once again and are now on a path to reclaiming the title.
But only one of them can continue the march forward, and after this weekend, we’ll find out who.
The 36-year-old Arlovski (24-10) appeared to be stuck in a downward spiral just a few short years ago. He had lost four in a row, including three via knockout at the hands of Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Silva and Sergei Kharitonov.
However, in 2011, he found something that he liked in Hawaii, scoring a victory over Ray Lopez – his first since a 2008 knockout of Roy Nelson. He followed with a victory over Travis Fulton before fighting long-time rival Tim Sylvia to a no-contest.
Back-to-back wins were off-set by a decision loss to Anthony Johnson, but Arlovski quickly bounced back with two more wins and earned himself another shot in the UFC.
In 2014, he scored a split decision over Brendan Schaub in his first Octagon appearance since 2008. A first round knockout of Silva avenged that 2010 defeat and Arlovski added a first round knockout of top contender Travis Browne in a “Fight of the Year” candidate – despite it going just one round.
Mir (18-9) knows what a four-fight losing skid feels like, having experienced one in the UFC from 2012-14. The former champion fought the who’s who of the division during that time, falling to Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett, Daniel Cormier and Junior dos Santos.
With his back against the wall, though, Mir overcame. He scored a knockout of Silva inside of two minutes this past February and followed it up with another minute-plus finish vs. Todd Duffee. Both wins earned him “Performance of the Night” status.
Overall, the Vegas native is 5-4 over his last nine and 9-6 since a 2008 victory over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira netted him the interim UFC title. He lost it to Brock Lesnar a year later in a rematch of their 2008 contest.
Mir has been competing solely inside the UFC since 2001, and has made all but two of his appearances there. Along with the previously mentioned opponents, he’s also fought Tank Abbott, Sylvia, Brandon Vera, Shane Carwin and Nelson.