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UFC 222 live blog: Stefan Struve vs. Andrei Arlovski

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Stefan Struve faces off with Andrei Arlovski
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the UFC 222 live blog for Stefan Struve vs. Andrei Arlovski, a heavwyeight bout at Saturday night’s UFC event at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Struve, winner of three of his last five, fights Arlovski, a former UFC champion with just one win in his past six appearances, on the evening’s main card.

Check out the UFC 222 live blog below.

Round 1: Referee Herb Dean the third man in the cage. They trade leg kicks to start. Arlovski hurts Struve with a calf kick. They’re exchanging leg kicks. Arlovski doubles up on a jab. Outside leg kick, overhand right combo by Arlovski. They clinch and Arlovski gets the trip. He’s in half guard. Arlovski thinks better of fighting on the ground and he stands himself up, firing off a couple of kicks to Struve’s backside before letting him up. Struve slowly advancing, he fires off several punches that Arlovski avoids before scoring another takedown. They briefly had fight before Arlovski stands up. Dean calls for a reset. Arlovski with the left hook inside. Jumping knee hits Arlovski’s chest. They clinch, with Arlovski pressing Struve against the cage. Arlovski gets another takedown and lands a couple of body shots before the buzzer.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Arlovski.

Round 2: Arlovski darts in with a Superman punch and a quick 1-2, though Struve avoids the worst of it. Struve just isn’t offering much output. They clinch and Arlovski gets the trip. Struve throws up his legs to secure full guard, but Arlovski doesn’t back off this time. He strikes from up top. Struve takes advantage of his aggression and manages to transition into a leg lock. Arlovski gets his foot free but they’re stuck in 50-50 position. Struve gets the better of it and he’s on top, then in back control. Struve lands several good punches from back position. Arlovski stands up with Struve clinging to his back. He avoids a throw, then spins and gets double underhooks. They jostle for position and Arlovski connects with a good knee, but can’t get another takedown. Dean calls for a reset with 45 seconds remaining. Arlovski protests an eye poke and we have a pause in the action. The action resumes and there’s a body kick for Arlovski. Inside leg kick by Struve.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Arlovski. Overall 20-18, Arlovski.

Round 3: Struve scores with a leg kick. Arlovski backs him up with a 1-2. Struve using straight punches to keep Arlovski at bay, but the former champion pushes forward with another combination. Double jab by Arlovski. He’s inside and gets the clinch. Struve blocks the trip this time and slips out, but catches an eye poke. The ringside physician is brought in to check him out. The fight continues with just over two minutes remaining in Round 3. Nice switch low kick by Struve. Arlovski responds with a 1-2 to the body. Overhand right for Arlovski scores. Another outside leg kick for Struve. Overhand right blocked, which means it’s time for Arlovski to go for a body lock again. Trip blocked by Struve initially, Arlovski adjusts and gets it this time. Arlovski content to lay on Struve’s side and score points with light body punches. Struve gets it back to the feet and tries to end with a flurry, but he’s tied up again.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Arlovski. Overall 30-27, Arlovski.

Official result: Andrei Arlovski def. Stefan Struve via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)