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UFC 225 live blog: Andrei Arlovski vs. Tai Tuivasa

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Andrei Arlovski faces off with Tai Tuivasa ahead of their heavyweight bout at UFC 225 on Saturday at the United Center in Chicago, Ill.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the UFC 225 live blog for Andrei Arlovski vs. Tai Tuivasa, a heavyweight bout at Saturday night’s UFC event at the United Center in Chicago.

Arlovski, who has won two straight since snapping a five-fight skid, fights Tuivasa, who is 2-0 in the UFC and 7-0 as a pro with all of his wins coming by way of first-round knockout, on the main card.

Check out the UFC 225 live blog below.

Round 1: Rob Madrigal overseeing this bout. Tuivasa closes the distance early and Arlovski has to defend against some dirty boxing. Straight punch for Arlovski lands, Tuivasa slips but quickly recovers. Leg kick by Tuivasa. Arlovski answers with one of his own, moments later. Tuivasa goes in for a body lock and just marches forward to take Arlovski down and land in full mount. Arlovski has Tuivasa’s arms tied up. They’re at a stalemate in this position as Arlovski looks to stall. Arlovski is eventually able to get Tuivasa off balance, shake him off, and get the fight back to the feet. Tuivasa hits a big counter left hand and gets a knockdown. He lets Arlovski back up. The veteran looks to be mostly recovered and he shoots in to push Tuivasa against the fence. Tuivasa backs him off, but he’s having to deal with a cut over his right eye. Tuivasa slips off of a high kick and Arlovski tries to pursue, but Tuivasa avoids any damage. Tuivasa goes to a second round for the first time in his pro career.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Tuivasa.

Round 2: Arlovski looking to control the distance with low kicks. 1-2 scores for Tuivasa. Right hand lands for Arlovski. Now it’s Arlovski who lands a series of punches while Tuivasa is throwing wild. Takedown attempt by Tuivasa is blocked. Arlovski pressing the action and he’s out-landing Tuivasa, though both men are scoring in these exchanges. Tuivasa standing in the pocket and he backs Arlovski off with a short right hook. Volume punching from Arlovski backs him up again, this time against the fence. Arlovski complains about an eye poke and we get a break in the action. They resume and Tuivasa lands a nice check left hook. Low kicks by Arlovski continue to find a home. Close second round.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Arlovski. Overall 19-19.

Round 3: A brief touch of gloves and a hug to start. Inside leg kick by Arlovski. Jab to the body by Tuivasa. 1-2 combination connects for Arlovski. Tuivasa fires an uppercut that hits the body. He’s lunging in with an elbow, but Arlovski keeps pushing him back and punishing him with counter punches. Straight right by Arlovski, left hook for Tuivasa. 1-2 lands for Tuivasa and he backs Arlovski up, elbow over the top looks like it hurts Arlovski. They move back to the center of the cage and now it’s Tuivasa who connects with another pair of hard punches. Arlovski goes body-head with a punch combination. Lunging jab by Arlovski hits Tuivasa. Spinning strike by Arlovski whiffs. He doubles up on his jab and connects. Arlovski jogging, trying to show he’s still fresh as Tuivasa lumbers forward. He seems to think he’s won this one, though both men point their fingers in the air and seem to be celebrating before the buzzer actually sounds. Close back-and-forth striking battle.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Arlovski. Overall 29-28, Arlovski.

Official decision: Tai Tuivasa def. Andrei Arlovski via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)