Andrei Arlovski (+200) vs. Tom Aspinall (-245)

Weight Class: Heavyweight

The featured prelim at UFC Vegas 19 is sure to be a good one when surging heavyweight prospect Tom Aspinall squares up against a UFC legend in Andrei Arlovski.

For Arlovski, he isn’t the fighter he once was but he has been on a solid run as of late. After losing six of his last seven if we count a split-decision loss that became a no contest against Walt Harris, the former champ appeared to be heading for the exit. But now, at 42, Arvloski has made adjustments to his game and has himself a two fight winning streak.

“The Pitbull” last emerged victorious against another solid prospect in Canada’s Tanner Boser. This was a very solid win for Arlovski and showed that his career isn’t over quite yet.

As of late, the Belarusian has been winning fights by decision. He isn’t nearly as aggressive anymore and looks to counter, but he does that quite well. He’s good at not allowing himself to be backed up and knows how to punch his way out of such situations, which will be a key to victory against Aspinall. He cannot get backed up, because Aspinall will want to land that power shot.

As for Aspinall, the team Kaobon product has had two very short (and dominant) UFC performances. He first KO’d Jake Collier inside a round, then did the same to Alan Baudot a few months later. Now, he will be getting a huge test in a fight that could springboard his career should he win.

Stylistically, Tom Aspinall is lightening fast. He is very quick on his feet and has much more movement than most heavyweights are used to dealing with. Like his training partner Darren Till, Aspinall utilizes a-lot of feints in order to set up kill shots. Aspinall looks to make up for what he lacks in volume with power shots.

Now, that could be tricky against this new version of Andrei Arlovski. If Aspinall can’t get him out of there in round one, he could be in trouble. We haven’t seen him go deep into a UFC fight and he made short work of most of his Cage Warriors opponents as well.

I do think that the combination of Aspinall’s power, combined with where Arlovski’s chin is at due to age, will be enough to either get the KO or badly wobble Arlovski. If Arlovski can wear some shots well and effectively counter, he could win a decision. If you like to hedge, or maybe you disagree with my analysis and think Aspinall’s hype train gets derailed,  Arlovski by decision could be for you.

Betting wise, I like Aspinall by KO but already have 2u tied up in parlays. One is a two-leg parlay that began last week with Kelvin Gastelum; the other is a parlay with Jamall Emmers. You can check out the breakdown for the Emmers fight here.

Prediction and play: Tom Aspinall moneyline (-265)

More UFC Vegas 19 Breakdowns

Jamall Emmers vs. Chas Skelly

John Castaneda vs. Eddie Wineland

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