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Fabricio Werdum vs. Andrei Arlovski - UFC 70 Fight Card

By Robert Rousseau, ExtremeProSports.com
Yes, UFC 70: Nations Collide has a bout between Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and Gabriel Gonzaga headlining the card. But, the fight taking place in Manchester, England on April 21st that's deservedly getting the most hype is the one set to take place between Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski and Fabricio Werdum.

Thus, let's start by previewing that one.

Fabricio Werdum vs. Andrei Arlovski

Werdum is making his UFC debut, coming over from PRIDE Fighting Championships in a deal that no doubt had something to do with the UFC's signing of his training partner, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic.

Werdum is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that possesses an overall MMA record of 9-2-1 with two (T)KO's and five submission victories to his credit. Along with this, the skinny on Werdum is apparent. He's tough and darn near impossible to stop. Further, he's as good as they go when it comes to submissions on the ground. Additionally, his striking skills have improved tremendously since he started training with Cro Cop ( even though he tends to leave his hands a little low, which isn't a good thing when you're about to face Andrei Arlovski ).

Werdum has been in there with a host of excellent fighters in his career including Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira ( decision loss ), Aleksander Emelianenko ( submission victory ), Alistair Overeem ( submission victory ), Roman Zentsov ( submission victory ), Sergei Kharitonov ( decision loss ), Gabriel Gonzaga ( TKO victory ), and Tom Erikson ( submission victory ).

In other words, this is hardly his first go around with an elite fighter.

Andrei Arlovski is the former UFC Heavyweight Champion. Along with this, he possesses an overall MMA record of 10-5 with seven (T)KO's and three submission victories to his credit. In sum, Arlovski isn't very hard to breakdown.

He's a very explosive athlete, with very good technical boxing skills and KO power in both hands. Further, he's got better ground skills than people give him credit for, even if that's hardly where he wants this fight to end up.

Beyond that, his jaw has been questioned in the past. That said, he sure isn't coming into this one afraid to trade with Werdum.

In the end, this one probably boils down to the age old striker versus grappler scenario. If the fight stays standing, Arlovski will probably win. If it goes to the ground, Werdum will likely take it home.

Perhaps the most interesting part, however, are the questions the two fighters will have to answer on the way to trying to take the fight where they want it to go. Is Werdum a good enough striker to stand for awhile with Arlovski before getting the fight to the ground? Is his already proven jaw strong enough to withstand the power that "The Pitbull," can deliver? Further, if Arlovski ends up on the ground with a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt with a good jaw, can he survive?

This should be a good fight.

Michael Bisping vs. Elvis Sinosic

TUF 3 winner Michael Bisping is going to get to throw down in front of his home country fans in this one. Expect the place to be rocking. Further, the fact that this very well-rounded 12-0 mixed martial arts fighter with eight (T)KO's and four submission victories to his credit is taking on a man with a losing MMA record ( Sinosic boasts a 8-9-2 record ) has to be good for him.

Bisping should win this fight via stoppage.

Ryoto "Lyoto" Machida vs. David Heath

Machida, the only man to defeat Rich "Ace" Franklin before Anderson Silva did, originally was slated to take on Forrest Griffin. That battle had 'fight of the night' written all over it. But now Griffin is out with a staph infection. Thus, Machida- an undefeated MMA fighter with excellent striking skills- is set to take on Heath now.

For some reason, the fanfare that came with the UFC's signing of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Mirko Cro Cop eluded Machida. Keep in mind, though, that this is a guy that has defeated Stephan Bonnar ( TKO ), B.J. Penn ( decision ), Rich Franklin ( TKO ), Sam Hoger ( decision ), and Vernon White ( decision ). Thus, he's one helluva fighter. The knock on him may be that most of his battles go to the cards; for one reason or another, he sometimes doesn't put his opponents away when he can.

Thus, he isn't always exciting. Griffin would have forced him to be.

Still, David Heath shows promise. Along with this, he's 7-0 in MMA with three submission victories and three (T)KO's to his credit. Further, he's won his last two fights in the UFC.

That said, he hasn't fought the same level of competition that Machida has thus far.

So, there are questions. Even so, don't be surprised if this one turns out to be a good fight.

Assuerio Silva vs. Cheick Kongo

Silva holds a 12-5 overall MMA record with four (T)KO's and six submission victories to his credit. In short, he's a pretty good fighter that has been in there with some tough UFC opponents like Tim Sylvia and Brandon Vera.

Unfortunately for him, he lost both of those encounters.

Still, Silva has some good striking and jiu-jitsu skills.

Cheick Kongo is a huge athlete that likes to bang. Along with this, he's (T)KO'd seven opponents in the nine MMA victories he's accumulated throughout his career ( Kongo is 9-3-1 ). However, at UFC 64: Unstoppable, Kongo lost a decision to Carmelo Marrera where he was taken down repeatedly and controlled.

Thus, he needs to work on his takedown defense and ground skills.

In the end, if this one stays standing, Kongo will probably win. If not, he'll probably lose via decision or submission.

In the end, UFC 70 should be a good card. With Griffin versus Machida, it could have been a great card.

But let's not count out David Heath just yet. He may turn out to be one of those up and comers that takes us all by storm.

The rest of the UFC 70 bouts

Matt Grice vs. Terry Etim

Junior Assuncao vs. David Lee

Victor Valimaki vs. Alessio Sakara

Dennis Siver vs. Jess Liaudin

Edilberto Souza De Oliveira vs. Paul Taylor

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