Andrei Arlovski outpoints Frank Mir for a decision win at UFC 191

LAS VEGAS -- No one knows what would have happened in a fight between Frank Mir and Andrei Arlovski in 2005 -- but in 2015, it was Arvloski who emerged victorious.

Arlovski (25-10) continued his improbable run toward a UFC heavyweight title on Saturday, defeating Mir via unanimous decision at UFC 191 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Judges scored the bout 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 for Arlovski.

The matchup was more than a decade in the making. Mir (18-10) was stripped of the UFC title in 2005, when he was unable to defend it due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. In his absence, Arlovski was promoted to UFC champ.

They finally met on Saturday, to somewhat mixed results. Each had his moments on the feet -- and each appeared to wear down by the final round. Mir scored the only knockdown of the fight in the second round, dropping Arvloski in the center of the cage with a lead right. Arlovski responded in the third round, cutting Mir over the right eye with a left hook and popping his head back violently with the jab.

The crowd booed during the first round of the heavyweight fight, as Mir looked to impose his 266-pound frame on the much lighter Arlovski. He repeatedly came forward with his left heavy left hand and then immediately would tie up Arlovski in the clinch. He failed to score any points from these positions though. The strategy mostly served to wear on Arlovski's gas tank.

In the opening 30 seconds of the second round, Mir scored a potentially huge takedown. Arlovski tied him up from the bottom, however, enough that referee John McCarthy was forced to stand the fight up. Immediately after the standup, Arlovski capitalized with a left head kick and a good elbow inside.

Eventually, Mir relied on standing directly in front of Arlovski with his hands at his waist, inviting him forward. He scored another takedown in the third round, but Arlovski was able to reverse position and work quickly back to his feet, which might have been the most crucial moment of the fight. Once he was back up, Arlovski's striking took over and clearly won him the round.

"It's been a while since we've trained together so the fact that we were training partners wasn't a factor," Mir said. "I thought I did what it took to win the fight, I had the takedowns and I landed the shots. I did what it took, just look at his face."

Said Arlovski: "I'm disappointed that it went three rounds, but it's a victory, it's good. I definitely underestimated him."

Arlovski, 36, finds himself firmly in title contention. He has gone 4-0 since re-signing with the UFC last year, collecting wins against Mir, Travis Browne, Antonio Silva and Brendan Schaub. Mir sees a two-fight win streak snapped.

Johnson gets back on track with victory over Manuwa

In his first appearance since a loss to Daniel Cormier for the UFC light heavyweight title, Anthony Johnson knocked out Jimi Manuwa with a right hand early in the second round.

An overhand right to the temple dropped Manuwa (15-2) in the first minute of the frame. Johnson (20-5), who moved to 8-1 as a light heavyweight, followed Manuwa to the ground and landed another right that put him out cold.

It is Johnson's third knockout win in his past four fights. He dropped Cormier in the first round of their title fight in May, but eventually tapped to a rear-naked choke in the third round.

It was a rough night for Manuwa from start to finish, as Johnson wobbled him with punches in their first exchange. He attempted to maintain distance and targeted Johnson's legs with kicks, but Johnson's speed and power advantages were on full display.

Early in the fight, Johnson blew through him on a double-leg attempt and spent much of the first round in top position. Manuwa managed to get back to his feet with one minute left and land an inside kick.

Perhaps anticipating another takedown, Manuwa came out defensive in the second round and Johnson took advantage by letting his hands go. Referee Jason Herzog stepped in immediately after Manuwa went out from the shots.

"I don't feel like I really improved anything, I just wanted to get out there and try something new in my grappling," Johnson said. "Even though I didn't get the submission, I was in a position to try. I have nothing but respect for Jimi, he's going to go a long way. I want the title and I'm going to keep on fighting until I get it. Whoever the UFC gives me, I'm going to keep on knocking them down."

After the win, Johnson, 31, who was disciplined by the UFC last month for an angry social media post he wrote directed at a female, yelled, "Hey media, report on that s---."

Anderson dominates Blachowicz

UFC light heavyweight and TUF 19 winner Corey Anderson made easy work of Jan Blachowicz in a dominant decision victory.

Anderson (6-1) badly out-wrestled Blachowicz throughout the 205-pound bout, racking up 136 total strikes on offense compared to just 29 for Blachowicz. All three judges turned in lopsided scores for Anderson: 30-25, 30-25 and 29-26.

Other than a few clean kicks to the body, Blachowicz (18-5) did nothing in his third UFC appearance. Anderson easily moved inside Blachowicz' preferred kickboxing range, either popping him with right uppercuts or shooting for takedowns. A former collegiate wrestler, Anderson had no issues keeping Blachowicz down once he had him there. Blachowicz, in fact, didn't even try to get back up. He mostly closed his guard and covered up.

In the third round, it was clear Blachowicz had nothing left in the tank. He surrendered a takedown in the opening 10 seconds. After spending nearly the entire round on his back, he managed to stand in the final minute, after Anderson lost position in an attempt to take his back. Blachowicz was on his feet for maybe two seconds before Anderson took him back down.

"That's the type of performance we train cardio for," Anderson said after the fight. "To push the pace and dominate the fight. My game is evolving everyday. I beat a guy in the top 15 and I most definitely deserve to be there now. Gian Villante beat me and ended up in the top 15 and I feel like I deserve to be at least [No.] 14 now. I'll take whatever the UFC gives me."

Blachowicz falls to 1-2 in the UFC. Anderson, who suffered a TKO loss to Gian Villante in his previous performance, improves to 3-1.

VanZant finishes Chambers

Paige VanZant remains unbeaten in the UFC's strawweight division, following a submission win against Alex Chambers.

VanZant (6-1) secured the finish via armbar at 1 minute, 1 second of the third round. She set a relentless pace on Chambers (5-3) from the opening bell, attempting 256 total strikes. Chambers, by comparison, threw 73.

The majority of VanZant's work came within the clinch, as she looked to make the most of her considerable size advantage. She worked into the Thai clinch throughout the fight and targeted Chambers' midsection with knees. The Australian strawweight held her own at first, firing back with overhand rights and uppercuts, but VanZant's pace eventually wore her down.

Late in the first round, VanZant scored her first takedown, a beautiful inside trip that sent Chambers flying to her back. She immediately called for Chambers to stand back up. It appeared as though Chambers would have preferred to stay on her back. Moments later, she unsuccessfully attempted to pull guard.

The second round was similar to the first, as VanZant just poured it on offensively. Chambers couldn't get her back off the fence and her right hands, which had some pop early on, slowed down considerably. By the start of the final round, she was basically finished, willingly falling to her back under VanZant's pressure.

VanZant worked to her back and started hunting the rear-naked. She eventually transitioned to the armbar for the tap.

Pearson pulls upset victory against Felder

In a major upset, Ross Pearson notched a split decision victory over fellow lightweight Paul Felder.

Pearson (18-9), who entered the bout as a 3.5-to-1 betting underdog, executed his game plan well and found a consistent home for the left hook. Judges Adelaide Byrd and Derek Cleary scored the lightweight contest for Pearson, 30-27 and 29-28, respectively. Judge Cardo Urso had it for Felder, 29-28. ESPN.com scored the bout 29-28 for Pearson.

Felder (10-2) had success early with knees to the body and elbows out of the clinch. He gave up a takedown midway through the round, as Pearson shot through a head kick attempt and slammed him to the mat, but Felder eventually worked back to his feet.

In the second round, however, Pearson started to pick up on Felder's rhythm. He slipped punches in the pocket and fired back with the left hook and straight right. Felder continued to stalk forward, but ate several lead lefts as a result. By the end of the fight, a sizable welt had formed under his right eye.

"We prepared to counter all of Paul's spinning moves and it worked out well," Pearson said. "I was really frustrated after my last fight with Evan Dunham, I felt like he didn't really bring it, so I was really happy to get paired with a guy like Paul. I knew he'd keep moving forward, and that's what he did. I also enjoyed the short-notice fight and not having to think about my opponent for 12 weeks. I'm going to take a little vacation to Hawaii now. It's my one-year anniversary, and my wife and I are finally going on our honeymoon tomorrow."

Felder, who suffered a close decision loss to Edson Barboza just six weeks ago, was aggressive in the third, but Pearson's footwork and head movement kept him one step ahead. Overall, he out-struck Felder in the fight 88-to-75.

"I feel like these guys hit me but they can't slow me down," Felder said. "I'm landing shots and keeping the pressure. In my mind, maybe the fight is going differently, I don't know but I feel like I'm constantly walking my opponent down. This one hurts. It hurts more than the Edson Barboza loss did. My last two fights haven't gone the way I would have liked them to, but they prove that I absolutely belong with the toughest scrappers and strikers in the game. I can't wait to get back in there and fight again. I'm ready to go next week, let's do it."

The 30-year-old Pearson has now alternated wins and losses in his last six contests. It is his 10th victory inside the Octagon. Felder falls to 2-2 in the UFC and 0-2 in his last two fights.

Lineker stops Rivera in wild fight

Former flyweight John Lineker kicked off his career at bantamweight with a bang -- or, make that bangs.

Lineker (26-7), who was forced to move up from the 125-pound division after missing weight, submitted Francisco Rivera (11-5) at 2:08 of a wild first round. The finish came via guillotine choke.

After an ever so brief feel-out period, Lineker stalked Rivera into a position against the fence and started unloading power punches. With nowhere else to go, Rivera fired back and caught Lineker with two hard right hands. The shots seemed to have zero impact on Lineker though, as he continued throwing wild haymakers that eventually clipped Rivera and put him down.

"I wanted to get in there and just swing away," Lineker said. "That's what I like to do, it happened exactly how I wanted it to. I was surprised I finished it via submission. I'm always looking for the knockout, but the opportunity presented itself and I took it. I don't pick opponents; whoever the UFC picks, I'm waiting."

Rivera turtled near the fence, where the fight was nearly called. He eventually worked back to his feet and threw more punches, before falling forward into a takedown attempt. He tripped Lineker to the floor but in his still-dazed state, left his neck wide open to the guillotine finish.

Said Rivera: "I jumped out of my game plan and got sucked into a brawl. When we're both that type of fighter, we just let our hands fly and see what happens. My game plan went out the window. I should have just relaxed, slowed down and listened to my team."

It is the fourth submission win of Lineker's career. Rivera falls to 1-3 in his past four contests.

• Bantamweight Raquel Pennington (6-5) submitted Jessica Andrade (13-5) via rear-naked choke with just two seconds remaining in the second round. The Colorado native showcased accurate striking and surprised Andrade with several well-timed takedowns. She survived a nasty combination along the fence earlier in the round, before securing the choke. The fight was a rematch of a close bout in March 2014, which Pennington lost by split decision.

• Featherweight Tiago Trator (20-5-2), fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, squeaked out a split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) win against Clay Collard (14-7). Collard dropped Trator in the second round with a right hand, but Trator survived and appeared to be the fresher of the two as the fight progressed. He nearly submitted Collard via rear-naked choke in the closing seconds of the first round.

• Middleweight Joe Riggs (41-16) earned his first win in nearly two years at 2:28 of the second round, when Ron Stallings (13-8) was disqualified for throwing an illegal upkick. Riggs dropped Stallings with a left hand early in the second round and was working ground and pound from a kneeled position when Stallings hit him with the upkick. Referee Jason Herzog stopped the bout after Riggs told a cageside physician he couldn't see.

• Lightweight Joaquim Silva (8-0), fighting out of Goiania, Brazil, defeated Nazareno Malegarie (23-4) via split decision (30-27, 30-27, 28-29). Silva thwarted Malegarie's attempts to get him to the floor and proved to be more versatile on the feet, landing several flying knees throughout the fight.