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UFC Fight Night Odds & Picks: Andrei Arlovski vs. Tom Aspinall (Feb. 20)

UFC Fight Night Odds & Picks: Andrei Arlovski vs. Tom Aspinall (Feb. 20) article feature image

Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images. Pictured: Andrei Arlovski.

  • Fourteen years and and 50 fights separate heavyweights Andrei Arlovski and Tom Aspinall, but the two go head-to-head Saturday night.
  • Aspinall is one of the exciting top prospects in the UFC, but Arlovski still a crafty veteran.
  • Sean Zerillo previews the odds and matchup for this anticipated bout below.

Andrei Arlovski vs. Tom Aspinall Odds

Arlovski odds
Aspinall odds
1.5 (-167 / +125) 
UFC Apex, Las Vegas
Approx. 8 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday evening and via DraftKings

Among the four heavyweight fights on the schedule for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card, I’m really looking forward to this bout between 42-year old Andrei Arlovski — who is making his 20th trip to the Octagon — and Tom Aspinall, one of my favorite youngsters in the UFC and perhaps the top prospect in the heavyweight division.

Aspinall has essentially been handed two highlight-reel knockouts in his first two UFC fights — facing bloated middleweight Jake Collier on return from a three-year-layoff, and late-replacement Alan Baudot, a bloated light heavyweight who probably doesn’t belong in the promotion.

We cashed some nice tickets on Aspinall to win inside the distance and win in Round 1 of those fights, but Arlovski is a completely different animal and the first real MMA test for the Englishman, who is sneakily also a BJJ black belt.

Who has the edge in this one? I’ll break down the matchup and betting odds below, and you can find my full breakdown of Saturday’s card here.

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Tale of the Tape

Arlovski Aspinall
Record 30-19 (2 NC) 9-2
Avg. Fight Time 8:50 1:10
Height 6’3″ 6’5″
Weight (pounds) 240 lbs. 256 lbs.
Reach (inches) 77″ 78″
Stance Orthodox Orthodox
Date of birth 2/4/79 4/11/93
Sig Strikes Per Min 3.48 11.14
SS Accuracy 44% 74%
SS Absorbed Per Min 2.77 2.57
SS Defense 58% 71%
Take Down Avg 0.48 6.43
TD Acc 36% 100%
TD Def 79% 0%
Submission Avg 0.3 0.0

This spot absolutely screams Arlovski. Aspinall has been out of the first round twice in his career and lost both bouts by the second-round finish. But his last loss came in 2016 — against a 35-year-old when he was just 23 — and Aspinall has had a substantial amount of time to improve both his cardio and overall skill-level since then.

He hasn’t had to prove it on the professional stage yet. Early stoppages can be both a blessing and a curse. You rack up highlights and bonus money, but without the ability to gain round time and build your stamina base.

Arlovski has dragged better fighters than Aspinall to deep waters, and his later career run of decisions (nine of his past 10 fights have gone the distance) masks a career 66% finish rate.

Furthermore, the fact that he’s only been knocked out by two foes since 2017 — Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, both of whom have the death touch — speaks more to his durability than his 11 career knockout losses.

Does Aspinall have the death touch, too? It’s entirely possible, and I think actually more likely than not. It’s hard to put your finger on it, but there’s something different about the way he moves, and the way fighters react when he connects.

Arlovski vs. Aspinall Betting Pick

The death touch bet, which we have won with so far against inferior competition, is Aspinall to win in Round 1 (+175), but there’s not enough value on that number for me to make a play.

And if Arlovski survives the opening minutes, and first few shots, I’d immediately be concerned about a bet on the fight to end inside the distance (projected -173, listed -160), and there’s not enough value in that market for me to justify a play.

If I were blindly betting this fight, Arlovski by decision (+350) would strike my interest. If he does survive the opening minutes, and if Aspinall’s cardio hasn’t improved, Arlovski might be a live betting favorite heading into Round 3. But compared to my projection at +334, there’s not enough value to justify a play on that line either.

Instead, I’ll sit back and enjoy this one. But I’ll hope the fight extends so we can see the depths of Aspinall’s cardio.

The Pick: No Bet

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