The UFC makes its long awaited return to Germany this weekend with a Fight Night event headlined by two veterans of the heavyweight division.

Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett will finally meet after having somehow managed to avoid each other during their combined 36 years in the sport. Barnett rolls into this fight having gone 1-2 in his last three, with his previous outing a lacklustre performance against Ben Rothwell, where Rothwell surprised the world by finishing Barnett by submission with a gogó choke. Barnett will be hoping his luck will change against Arlovski, who’s also coming in to this fight on the back of a loss in his last outing and also going 1-2 in his last three. Arlovski has lost both of his last fights via TKO, to Alistair Overeem and current heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic – hardly bums but both TKO’s coming relatively early on in the respective fights. Arlovski’s chin has previously been in question, and after 38 professional MMA fights under his belt, it was going to start fading at some point. Unfortunately for Arlovski, this isn’t going to be any easier for him than his last two bouts so expect Barnett to win the fight within the five rounds.

In 2013, Alexander Gustafsson was arguably one round away from becoming the new light-heavyweight champion, unfortunately for him that never happened and since then he’s been on a downward spiral of sorts. Since his loss to Jon Jones in that epic match up at UFC 165, Gustafsson has gone 1-2, with his sole win coming over Jimi Manuwa and his losses coming at the hands of the current champion, Daniel Cormier and the next challenger for the title, Anthony Johnson. Gustafsson needs a win to get back on track and to be considered a top-five light-heavyweight once again, and Jan Blachowicz could be the perfect tonic. Blachowicz is 1-2 in his last three also [everyone on this bloody card is – Editor], but his losses have come at the hands of Jimi Manuwa and Corey Anderson, who are hardly setting the world on fire at 205lbs. He did however score a win over Igor Pokrajac back in April this year, but Pokrajac and Gustafsson are two very different animals. Expect Gustafsson to get the win he needs to stop the rot and help turn his fortunes back around.

Ryan Bader dragged his ass from mediocrity to potential title challenger when he won five-straight fights in the UFC light-heavyweight division, beating Rashad Evans, Phil Davis and Ovince St Preux, amongst others on his way to becoming a contender. Unfortunately for Bader, he met the freight train known as Anthony Johnson just as he was on the cusp of a title shot and within less than 90 seconds it was all over, his dreams destroyed. Luckily for Bader, the UFC light-heavyweight division is paper thin, so one or two wins over half decent opponents may put him back in the title picture. Ilir Latifi will be the fighter in the way of Bader getting back on track at 205lbs and he’s no walkover, Latifi is as game as they come. Stepping in to the UFC to fight Gegard Mousasi on a weeks notice will instantly win you brownie points with the UFC, and going 5-1 in your last six with four of those wins coming by either KO or submission can also help. Latifi is a fighter often overlooked by his opponents but he’s a crafty individual, and whilst Bader will be hoping to grind out a decision win, his traditional second round fatigue will be where Latifi gets his opportunity to win the fight and upset the odds.

The curtain jerker for the main card is a lightweight fight between Nick Hein and Tae Hyun Bang. Hein being German is probably why he’s got his position on the main card, but he’s also a half decent fighter to boot. Hein is currently riding a two-fight win streak coming into this one and will be hoping that the home crowd can help fire him to three straight, but Bang is a fighter who can end the night with one shot, something that Hein will have to be on the look out for. Hein will do what German’s do and find a way to win this fight, much to the delight of the crowd in attendance.

Fights to watch on the undercard; Peter Sobotta vs. Nicholas Dalby, Scott Askham vs. Jack Hermansson, Rustam Khabilov vs. Leandro Silva

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Welsh BJJ Blue Belt and founding member of the Gunnar Nelson Fan club. Known vagabond and all round scumbag.