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UFC Fight Night 93: Arlovski vs. Barnett (9/3/2016) - Hamburg, Germany (Barclaycard Arena)

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UFC Fight Night 93: Arlovski vs. Barnett 
September 3, 2016 
Hamburg, Germany (Barclaycard Arena)

Andrei Arlovski (238) vs. Josh Barnett (256) - Barnett, SUB (rear naked choke), R3 (2:53)
Alexander Gustafsson (205) vs. Jan Błachowicz (205) - Gustafsson, DEC (unanimous)
Ryan Bader (205) vs. Ilir Latifi (205) - Bader, KO (knee), R2 (2:06)
Nick Hein (155) vs. Tae Hyun Bang (155) -  Hein, DEC (unanimous)

Fight Pass Preliminary Card:
Jessin Ayari (171) vs. Jim Wallhead (170) - Ayari, DEC (split)
Peter Sobotta (171) vs. Nicolas Dalby (170) - Sobotta, DEC (unanimous)
Ashlee Evans-Smith (135) vs. Veronica Macedo (136) - Evans-Smith, TKO (elbows), R3 (2:46)
Taylor Lapilus (136) vs. Leandro Issa (134) - Lapilus, DEC (unanimous)
Jarjis Danho (258) vs. Christian Colombo (251) - DRAW (majority)
Scott Askham (185) vs. Jack Hermansson (186) - Hermansson, DEC (unanimous)
Rustam Khabilov (156) vs. Leandro Silva (156) - Khabilov, DEC (unanimous)

Event Bonuses ($50,000):
Performance of the Night: Ryan Bader
Performance of the Night: Josh Barnett
Fight of the Night: Andrei Arlovski vs. Josh Barnett

Attendance: 11,763
Gate: $913,438

Cancelled Bouts:
Emil Weber Meek vs. Jessin Ayari - Meek Removed Due to USADA Conflict
Rustam Khabilov vs. Reza Madadi - Madadi Withdrew From Bout
Brad Pickett vs. Enrique Briones - Injury to Briones
Michelle Waterson vs. Aisling Daly - Injury to Daly
Germaine de Randamie vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith - Injury to De Randamie (Foot)
Brad Pickett vs. Iuri Alcântara - Injury to Pickett; Bout Moved to Another Card
Martin Buschkamp vs. Alex Enlund - Injury to Enlund

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Any thoughts on the main event (aka the Revenge of Affliction III) and the co-main?

I haven't seen many people pick Arlovski even though his mini career renaissance was more recent the last time Barnett put together a real string of victories. It seems like Barnett has a fight and then goes away for five or six months before getting another fight. Granted, we obviously know he has other commitments. However, in three years, he has four UFC fights. Not every performance of Andrei's recent slate has been great, but he has more opportunities to not look good as well. I not slighting Barnett because I think he could beat a fair number of heavyweights if he was more active. I think it is a bit funny that he went from virtually being persona non grata with the UFC to basically being allowed to fight under his own terms. Moreover, against Arlovski, people think he will be motivated enough to get the job done.

Gus vs. Blachowicz ain't exactly the sexiest matchup, but it's clearly a showcase and confidence builder for Gustafsson. Blachowicz is tough, but ain't exactly a tough out. He is someone Gustafsson can dominate and be added to the highlight reel. However, what do you do with Gustafsson afterwards? He has faced the other members of the Big Four at 205 and had varying degrees of success. I guess he can fight the winner of Bader vs. Latifi if it is Bader as expected. That's not exactly the sexiest matchup either. But I guess having two UFC wins is better than being on a losing streak and in contendership purgatory. 

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Peter Sobotta, honorary Jamaican, comes out to Inner Circle's Bad Boys.

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Sobotta is a decent fighter, but anyone who gets 10-8'd by him isn't going to a long UFC tenure most likely. Dalby is just too hittable, doesn't take damage too well, and prone to giving up easy takedowns. At welterweight, that's a death sentence once you get above a certain level. The troubling thing is Dalby is having difficulty with that at the level below that. Either he needs to leave Denmark to find answers or he's going back to the European circuit.

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these overseas cards mess with my internal timing. i always forget that they happen in mid-afternoon, so i tend to stumble onto the results. i guess i'll be watching this tomorrow.

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Bader with a somehow more devastating version of the Hellboy-Imanari finish.

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Very good fight between Barnett and Arlovski. Also, nice finishing sequence from Barnett after recovering from the eyepoke.

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I liked it because it felt like two old gladiators going at it, I don't think either will be title contenders ever again but I still enjoy them both. Barnett should know better then to turn his back to a fighter, it was clearly an eyepoke but he should have kept his good eye on him, luckily it didn't come back to haunt him.

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You knew it was going to deliver when both were rocked twice in the opening 30 seconds. Super entertaining fight.

Gustafsson looked dreadful in terms of striking defense. It's a good thing he was able to get the fight to the ground at will because he was going to sleep if that shit continued. Way too stationary, no head movement, put himself in dangerous spots... Does he need to change camps or some shit? Such a frustrating fighter when you see how close he got in both of his title challenges and how his big weakness will very likely hold him back from ever becoming a champion.

Here's hoping that the Latifi bandwagon can get back on track after tonight. That was a brutal KO.

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Gustafsson got his gimme back on track win to let him get some confidence again and keep him ranked reasonably high.

I see Ryan Bader generally staying as the perennial top 10 gatekeeper as long as he continues fighting.

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50 minutes ago, Oyaji said:

You knew it was going to deliver when both were rocked twice in the opening 30 seconds. Super entertaining fight.

Gustafsson looked dreadful in terms of striking defense. It's a good thing he was able to get the fight to the ground at will because he was going to sleep if that shit continued. Way too stationary, no head movement, put himself in dangerous spots... Does he need to change camps or some shit? Such a frustrating fighter when you see how close he got in both of his title challenges and how his big weakness will very likely hold him back from ever becoming a champion.

Here's hoping that the Latifi bandwagon can get back on track after tonight. That was a brutal KO.

I think that's what Gustafsson is at this point. He spent the last four or five years working so hard to improve his wrestling that he has kinda inadvertently turned back into the guy I first watched on YouTube fighting middling fighters in Sweden. He was always a good ground fighter but he needed that wrestling to tie it together. He was good in the clinch and closed quarters. However, when you've been in the wars he has been in plus the Rumble fight, the fights that would be walkovers normally are going to get progressively tougher because people have a better read on him. He is no longer the menacing young guy in the division who could flex his muscle against older veteran fighters. He is still able to do quality work (he popped Blachowicz with a couple good shots in the 3rd before he took him down again), but it's going to come at cost if he gets into another tough, brutal fight. With the way Bader looked against Latifi before getting the finish, you gotta hope they match him with Bader if you're a Gustafsson fan. That way, at least he is fighting another guy who is ripe to be upset.

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56 minutes ago, TheVileOne said:

Gustafsson got his gimme back on track win to let him get some confidence again and keep him ranked reasonably high.

I see Ryan Bader generally staying as the perennial top 10 gatekeeper as long as he continues fighting.

i'd still like for Bader to get a crack at champ DC at some point. His best bet is as a late replacement, but i think he's been consistent enough that he'd slot in well enough.

a Bader/Gus match would be pretty compelling tho.

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Bader isn't a draw and if they're going even more towards big money fights over trying to follow a somewhat logical ranking system, Bader is the type who will lose out. Maybe if they do the easy thing and match him up with Gus and he wins that one, he'd have an excellent argument, but not after beating a guy outside of the top 10.

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6 hours ago, twiztor said:

i'd still like for Bader to get a crack at champ DC at some point. His best bet is as a late replacement, but i think he's been consistent enough that he'd slot in well enough.

a Bader/Gus match would be pretty compelling tho.

If fighters keep dropping off due to USADA, it could happen sooner rather than later.

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