The UFC makes a quick turnaround after UFC 249 with UFC on ESPN+ 29 on Wednesday, May 13. A light-heavyweight clash between Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira headlines the event at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. Ovince Saint Preux bounces up to heavyweight to take on Ben Rothwell in the co-main event.
The preliminary card is headlined by a heavyweight showdown between former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski and UFC newcomer Philipe Lins.
The last few years have not been kind to the former UFC Heavyweight Champion. Arlovski has compiled a 3-9-1 record since 2016 and recently suffered a viscous knockout at the hands of Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 244. Still, Arlovski is easily one of the most experienced heavyweight fighters on the roster whose toughness, willing to compete and championship experience make him a worthy opponent for any UFC heavyweight. His three wins since 2016 have come at the expense of Junior Albini, Stefan Struve and Ben Rothwell all by way of unanimous decision. On May 13, 2020 Arlovski welcomes fresh blood to the division in the form of UFC newcomer Phillipe Lins.
If you have watched Philipe Lins compete during his time with Bellator or PFL, it is hard not to be excited about his UFC debut. Lins has established himself as one of the more interesting heavyweights outside the UFC by compiling a 14-3 professional record and an 85% finishing rate. Standing at 6-foot-2 and with a 79-inch reach, Lins holds a black belt in BJJ and impressive power and speed in his hands. Although able to knock out his opponents with a single punch, he instead opts to throw heavy combinations which includes uppercuts and hooks that pepper his opponents guard until he eventually finds an opening to end the bout. Lins will get a chance to introduce himself to the UFC community against one of the most notable heavyweights of all time.
This one is unfortunately straightforward. Lins will come out confident and relaxed for this bout and knockout out Arlovski within two rounds. Arlovski is nowhere near the same fighter he was when he knocked out Travis Browne in 2015 and the 11 knockout losses he has suffered throughout his lengthy career are starting to take an even larger toll on his ability to effectively compete. Yes, he was able to outpoint Ben Rothwell back in July of 2019, but Rothwell is also no longer the same heavyweight contender he was several years ago either. Lins will come out and use his superior speed, longer reach and fresher gas tank to stun Arlovski and officially announce his arrival to the UFC.
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