UFC 174

Andrei Arlovski vs. Brendan Schaub: A Full Head-to-Toe Breakdown

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2014

Andrei Arlovski vs. Brendan Schaub: A Full Head-to-Toe Breakdown

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

    UFC 174 marks the UFC's return to pay-per-view this weekend. It also marks the return of a former UFC champion, one of the best heavyweights in MMA history.

    Andrei Arlovski returns to the promotion after stints with Strikeforce and World Series of Fighting to take on Brendan Schaub. It is a fight that fans will be paying close attention to, as Arlovski is popular and Schaub is an ever-improving fighter.

    How do these fighters match up? Let's take a look at this fight from top to bottom. 

Striking

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    Gary M. Prior/Getty Images

    In the past, both Andrei Arlovski and Brendan Schaub have been seen as guys with weak chins. All three of Schaub's losses have come via vicious knockout, and saw him knocked clean unconscious. Those came at the hands of Roy Nelson, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Ben Rothwell.

    Meanwhile, Arlovski has been knocked out in seven of his 10 losses. His opponents included Sergei Kharitonov, Brett Rogers, Fedor Emelianenko and Tim Sylvia. Though he has good offensive striking, he cannot take too much damage on the chin.

    Both men share similar skills on the feet. However, Arlovski uses more kicks, while Schaub is a boxer. Both have power, which makes this about a wash.

    Edge: Push 

Wrestling/Takedowns

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    This may be the biggest margin in terms of skill sets between the two.

    Brendan Schaub is a former pro football player. He has developed some solid takedowns and a heavy clinch game. He has used that in several other bouts, including his domination of Matt Mitrione.

    While Andrei Arlovski does have a sambo background, his takedown offense is not nearly as effective as that of Schaub. Whether Schaub uses that, though, remains to be seen.

    Edge: Schaub 

Grappling/Submissions

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Again, this is another category that is close.

    In 32 career pro fights, Arlovski has just three submissions, most of which came early in his career. Schaub, who has 13 pro fights, has just one submission, which came in his latest fight against Matt Mitrione via D'Arce choke.

    Personally, I don't think this will be much of a grappling match. Both men are strikers first and are more strategical grapplers than submission pursuers.

    When looking at who has the edge, it is too tough to call.

    Edge: Push 

Prediction

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

    Don't be surprised if this bout ends via knockout. Both men have suspect chins and throw with immense power.

    That said, if Schaub fights as smart as he has been lately, he could be successful here. His clinch and takedown game has carried him in his last two bouts—wins over Lavar Johnson and Matt Mitrione.

    Arlovski does have solid takedown defense, but Schaub's quickness and explosiveness—common in former pro football players—is tough to gauge and could haunt the Belarusian.

    It looks like it could be another balanced, smart attack by Schaub that earns him a close victory.

    Prediction: Schaub def. Arlovski via decision 

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