A heavyweight clash to be remembered will help kickoff the UFC’s first event of the year in 2016. Top contenders Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski and Stipe Miocic will do battle at UFC 195 on Jan. 2nd in Las Vegas, NV.
The UFC confirmed the match-up on Wednesday following a report by the LA Times.
The new fight for Miocic comes as a surprise after Miocic pulled out of a scheduled fight with Ben Rothwell at UFC Fight Night 76 in Ireland. An unknown injury forced Miocic off the card. Even more surprising being that Rothwell has long harpooned after a fight with Arlovski, however that opportunity will now go to Miocic, whose injury must not have been too severe.
Arlovski (25-10, 1 NC), the former UFC heavyweight champion is riding a four fight winning streak in the UFC since his return to the promotion, with his most recent win coming over Frank Mir. Prior to that, Arlovksi was involved in a Fight of the Year candidate with Travis Browne that he won via KO in the first round. Arlovski now finds himself ranked No. 4 in the UFC rankings.
Miocic (13-2) meanwhile has won four out of his last five fights, his most recent outing being a five round brutal beating of Mark Hunt earlier this year in May. In that streak Miocic also holds wins over Roy Nelson and Gabriel Gonzaga. His only hiccup in the last two years coming from Junior dos Santos in a controversially ruled five round war.
Due the high-ranking stature of both men, a win could solidify for the victor a title shot against the winner of the heavyweight title fight between Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez set to take place early next year.
UFC 195 takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and will air live on pay-per-view. The rest of the card can be seen below:
- Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit
- Andrei Arlovski vs. Stipe Miocic
- Erik Koch vs. Drew Dober
- Edgar Garcia vs. Sheldon Westcott
MMAOutsiders.com ranks Andrei Arlovski at No. 4, Stipe Miocic at No. 5
To see our full rankings click here: http://mmaoutsiders.com/category/outsiders-rankings/