Andrei Arlovski faced off against Junior Albini tonight (Sat., Nov. 11, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 120 inside Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., airing live on FOX Sports 1. Arlovski has been increasingly vulnerable to the knockout in recent years, but in this bout each man threw their best shot at the other to no avail.
They came out cautious, Albini very upright. He looked bizarre in the very short white shorts, like a giant, terrifying baby wearing a diaper. They began exchanging; Albini looked stumbled momentarily by a shot. Albini moved forward, hands high, and Arlovski threw hard at him. Arlovski landed a body shot, threw a nice kick. Albini blocked an overhand very well. He clinched with Arlovski and pushed him against the cage. Albini was talking to the referee. He landed a knee. Eventually they separated. Both men seemed willing to stand and trade in the pocket. Arlovski landed a nice inside kick. Albini threw a left hook that connected cleanly, but Arlovski threw a spinning backfist, seemingly unfazed. Albini clinched him against the cage again. They separated and Albini missed on two winging hooks. He was extremely calm, like a wall. Arlovski landed an overhand right that didn’t phase Albini at all. He landed a nice counter as the round ended.
Albini threw an elbow to start the second round and Arlovski threw back in combination. Arlovski landed a hook to the body. Albini clinched, kneeing Arlovski in the legs and body. Eventually the referee separated them. Albini threw an inside leg kick. Arlovski kept throwing his overhand, and ended up in the clinch once more. Albini is nearly unmoveable there, pushing Arlovski into the cage once more. Arlovski finally got head position and pushed Albini off the cage. He landed a nice combination on Albini. They exchanged, neither man quite landing cleanly. Arlovski jabbed at the body, then landed a calf kick. He hit an uppercut as Albini moved in to clinch, then hit a spinning back kick to the body. Albini ate a straight right, then another combination. Arlovski was keeping a tremendous pace.
Albini moved forward to start the third round, feinting his way inside. Arlovski landed a couple nice combinations, slipped attempted elbows by Albini. Albini landed an outside leg kick. Arlovski went high with a kick of his own, followed by a right straight. He pushed Junior Albini back with a combination. He threw up a high switchkick, just blocked. Albini switched stances, trying to walk Arlovski down. The referee called a timeout due to Albini open-palming Arlovski and almost raking his eyes. Albini landed a nice left hook and an elbow as Arlovski got aggressive. Arlovski hit a nice jab. He threw that overhand right and Albini blocked it. Albini hit him with a combination. Arlovski threw a spinning backfist, then hit an uppercut. Arlovski clinched and hit Albini in the groin. Albini restarted almost immediately. He looked for a lead elbow, then moved in with a hard combination. They clinched, Albini once more pushing Andrei against the cage. Albini tried for a last-second takedown but couldn’t get it as the fight wore to a conclusion.
Arlovski rightly won the bout on the judges scorecards, his first win in six fights. He said hard work paid off tonight, and thanked his supporters for sticking with him through some very tough times.
Official result: Andrei Arlovski def. Junior Albini via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27×2)
For complete Fight Night 120 results, including play-by-play, click here