December 16th, 2012, Andrei Arlovski and Mike Hayes squared off in Russia. Some fans and commentators responded by stating the match was uneventful and/or disappointing. Others have said it was good considering the shape Arlovski was in.
Arlovski, looking a bit thick around the mid section for him, came into the fight after having seen multiple doctors for back problems. This could have contributed to the obvious weight factor as well as the pace of the fight. Despite this issue Arlovski fought well.
He dominated the first round with his striking and drew first blood. In the second round he begins to lose steam but continues to bear down with some heavy blows on Hayes, who picks up the pace near the end of the round.
The third round is more exciting with Hayes putting Arlovski in defense mode but Arlovski just will not give up. He continues to press on even though he is obviously worn out. The fight ends in a close decision for Arlovski. His response is an obvious look of disappointment. It would appear as though perhaps he thought Hayes fought better and deserved the win.
Either way you feel, disappointment or excitement, the match is worth watching. Just remember to bear in mind that athletes of any profession, especially fighters, are subject to issues of injury which may cause them to perform at different levels thanwhen they are in peak condition. Reserve judgment until after you have watched the fight and enjoy the fact that Arlovski sucked it up and faced his opponent in spite of no word on what the issue with his back might be.