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UFC 222 results: Andrei Arlovski wrestles way to win over Stefan Struve

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Andrei “Pit Bull” Arlovski might be an old dog by MMA standards. But he’s not afraid to learn new tricks.

The former UFC heavyweight champion had more takedowns against Andrei Arlovski on Saturday night (6) than he did in his previous 24 UFC fights (3).

And that helped make the difference in his bout against Stefan Struve at UFC 222. Arlovski earned a unanimous decision at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on a pair of 29-28s and a 30-27.

“They say you can’t teach an old dogs new tricks,” Arlovski (27-15, 1 NC) said. “I’m learning so I must not be that old.”

Arlovski set the tone in the opening round by fearlessly wading into range and scoring three takedowns. In the second, he scored a fourth, but that lead to Struve’s best round, as he caught Arlovski in a tricky kneebar which the former champ had a tough time escaping.

Both fighters were warned by referee Herb Dean for eye pokes as the match turned into a battle of attrition. Arlovski had more gas left at the end, though, as he landed a big right hand and sealed things with his final takedown.

Arlovski, who now trains with American Top Team, has won two in a row and hasn’t given up on regaining a belt he last held in 2006.

“I want to be champion again and I’ll get it one fight at a time.”

Struve (28-10) has dropped two in a row.