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UFC Vegas 53 results: Andrei Arlovski ekes out split decision win over Jake Collier in back-and-forth war

UFC Fight Night: Arlovski v Collier Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

It wasn’t always pretty but Andrei Arlovski kept his winning streak alive with a gritty performance to beat Jake Collier in the UFC Vegas 53 co-main event.

The seemingly ageless heavyweight battled through a cut dripping blood and possibly a broken nose to eke out a hard fought split decision win in a razor-close affair with Collier over three rounds. Two judges gave Arlovski the fight with the same 29-28 scores while the third official actually saw Collier winning every round with a 30-27 scorecard.

In the end, Arlovski still did enough to get the win as he picks up his fourth win in a row overall.

“It’s a hell of a fight,” Arlovski said. “Actually, Jake in the last four or five fights is the first person to cut me. Good luck in the future. I’m sorry if I disappointed you. After tonight’s performance, I need to do a lot of homework with my coaches.”

Throwing heavy leather from the jump, Collier was putting his weight behind almost every punch as he looked to take off Arlovski’s head. Arlovski fired back with well-timed straight punches as he looked to keep Collier at bay as the former middleweight continued pressing forward to close the distance.

When the first round ended, Arlovski went to the corner with blood trickling down his face thanks to a short elbow that Collier landed as the heavyweights continued trading blows on the feet.

Collier was continuously looking for the big overhand shots from the left and right while Arlovski was trying to focus on combinations with punches in succession. While Arlovski was willing to stand in the pocket and trade shots, Collier appeared to be landing the more powerful strikes, although the former heavyweight champion refused to fade away.

Arlovski’s ability to connect with the more technical strikes kept him in every exchange as he traded bombs with Collier in every round.

With close exchanges throughout, Arlovski and Collier were trying to do enough to inch ahead on the scorecard or put the fight away with a knockout to keep the judges on the sidelines. As time ticked away to the final minute, Collier cracked Arlovski with a stiff right hook followed by a left behind it but neither heavyweight would actually hit the ground.

It was a close fight but ultimately two judges thought Arlovski did enough for the win as he continues moving forward in the heavyweight division with an impressive 6-1 run through his last seven appearances overall.

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