Well I'm back from the tropics and catching up on all the action I've missed over the last 4+ months. It's good to see Affliction is still kicking and riding the Fedor train. This actually promises to be a fight for the Russian cyborg and I'm looking forward to seeing how these two look because in my mind it's been a long time since either has had a memorable tough fight.

Fedor Emilienenko (-375) vs Andrei Arlovski (+235)
Fedor with a record of 29-1, 6 KO's is a legitimate legend in mixed martial arts. Suffice it to say he has fought a world-class roster of opponents, which includes the likes of Heath Herring, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Gary Goodridge, Mark Coleman, Renato Sobral, Kevin Randleman, Matt Lindland, Mirko Cro Cop and more. Only seven of his victims have gone the entire distance; one of them was Nogueira, until recently the UFC interim heavyweight champ, who went the full route with him twice. Fedor's win over Coleman came in the PRIDE Grand Prix tournament in 2004, and occurred in less than two minutes. In the win over Randleman, Fedor demonstrated his recuperative powers, scoring the submission with a kimura after literally getting flipped on to his head. Lindland, a former UFC middleweight contender, gave him some anxious moments in an April 2007 fight, but Fedor, cut over his eye, scored an armbar to win it at 2:58 of the first round. On New Year's Eve of '07 he took on the 7'2" kick-boxer Hong-Man Choi, and scored a first-round submission win in rather spectacular fashion. Last time out Fedor captured the WAMMA heavyweight title in a truly devastating performance, mowing down Tim Sylvia, a two-time conqueror of Arlovski and former two-time UFC heavyweight champion, in 36 seconds. The only loss he's ever had was to Tsuyoshi Kohsaka, which came by way of a doctor's stoppage as a result of an illegal elbow by Kohsaka. Fedor avenged that dubious defeat with a TKO in 2005.

Andrei comes in with a 15-5, 11 KO record and a moderate underdog in the odds. He's currently on a five-fight winning streak and now looking at likely the biggest challenge of his carrer. A native of Belarus, Arlovski has a background in Sambo, and has won a silver medal at the world championship. He started fighting as a pro at age 20, and although he lost his pro debut, he came back a year later to win the MFC-European heavyweight title. He went to the UFC not long after, and started fighting standouts right away, losing on KO to Pedro Rizzo and Ricco Rodriguez, but then began picking up momentum, scoring wins over Ian Freeman, Vladimir Matyushenko and Wesley "Cabbage" Correira before beating Tim Sylvia in 47 seconds to capture the UFC's interim title at UFC 51. When he beat Paul Buentello at UFC 55, he was declared undisputed UFC champ, but he was beaten in a rematch by Sylvia and lost the title in April of 2006. Sylvia knocked him out on strikes in that bout, and then came back to score a decision in the rubber match three months later. Arlovski spent three more fights in the UFC, then moved over to Affliction, where he knocked out Ben Rothwell in three rounds last July 19. His last bout was on October 4, a second-round KO of Roy Nelson.

Arlovski's big gimmick here is that he has been working with boxing trainer Freddie Roach at the Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles. About Arlovski, Roach says, "His hand speed has really improved much and his selection of punches. And I think the biggest progress is his footwork. He fights like a little guy. He has great movement for a heavyweight and I think it's going to be a big factor in this fight." I wouldn't make too much of the involvement with Roach, who is generally known as a good trainer but has build a reputation being involved with fighters who are already more or less developed.

One thing to keep in mind is that Fedor may be a bit crude in his boxing style, but he is effective. The bigger dilemma for Arlovski is that he has been knocked out several times with strikes/punches, and no trainer in the world can correct things if you have a questionable chin. Arlovski is facing someone who is not given enough credit for being a striker, or at least was not recognized as much by the mainstream crowd for it until he came out and blitzed Sylvia the way he did. Fedor can reach you in the stand-up, and after he's floored you he can nail you while he remains standing. That's a unique skill.

Yet his best work is probably on the mat. There is no submission hold he can't apply, and likely no situation he can't get himself out of. Arlovski's background is in Sambo? Well, ironically, he is trumped there as well by Emelianenko, who has won four times at the World Combat Sambo Championships (he lost in the semis this past year).

No one is impossible to beat. However, among this current crop of heavyweights Fedor is the closest thing to it. he has shown that he can beat the guys who are smaller but quicker, and the opponents who are bigger and presumably stronger. Against someone like the mammoth Brock Lesnar he would have too much experience to deal with. The feeling here is that he has far too much in his arsenal to be seriously challenged by Arlovski. Therefore, this is one of those cases where the favorite brings value, at -375

You wanna make a bet....
Desert Dog

I have followed the UFC for over 10 years, written as a handicapper, and spent my spare time as an online poker grinder. Unfortunately, I ran out of legal wagering options...Thank god for Daily Fantasy Sports and the much needed addition of MMA drafts. I offer my insight into MMA fight handicapping and fight analysis for the purpose of making some dough at DFS!

No Comment to " Affliction 2: Fedor vs Arlovski Betting Odds and Analysis "