Circa 2002-2008, few heavyweights outside of Japan enjoyed the success of Andrei Arlovski.
The big Belarusian came unstuck twice against the other marquee name heavyweight of the era in Tim Sylvia, but managed to score a win over the 6’8″ colossus in their trilogy to capture UFC Heavyweight gold. Dropping the big man with punches, Andrei showed his sambo base by surprisingly dropping back for a heel hook on the fallen giant. Andrei twice defended the title against Justin Eilers and Paul Buentello, before dropping it in a return with Sylvia, and losing a rubber match via decision.
Arlovski left the UFC with a 13-4 record, and was the #2 ranked heavyweight in world MMA when he earned a dream “UFC champ vs. PRIDE champ” super-fight in Affliction with the sport’s greatest ever, Fedor Emelianenko. Though Andrei initially did well, he threw a disastrous flying knee and was sparked in mid air by the shot heard round the world. He proceeded to drop another three straight fights, before recovering with two wins to take his post-UFC record to a mixed 4-4. But on form, as he was in the UFC, and on his day “The Pitbull” has proven to be dangerous to anyone in the division.
Now, the former champ is a One FC contracted fighter!
Here are some suggestions as to fights for the big man – some are in One FC, some aren’t, but there are plenty of free agents around the world, so without being privy to the possibility of such people being signed for an Andrei fight, here are some of my own ideas:
- AA vs. Rolles Gracie
- AA vs. Renato Sobral - yes, he fights a light-heavyweight, but the size differential isn’t too drastic and he is a warrior
- AA vs. Tim Sylvia IV - if Big Tim could be signed, a fourth scrap between the two former world champions would make sense
- AA vs. Aleksander Emelianenko - what a tremendous signing that would be. Aleks fights in a variety of European promotions, mostly M-1 Global, which his brother Fedor is a minority shareholder in.
- AA vs. Sergei Kharitonov II
- AA vs. Josh Barnett – you think zuffa will let him back in the UFC? One loss is the excuse they need to cut the top 5 fighter loose
- AA vs. Pedro Rizzo
- AA vs. Guram Gugenishvili - if a rumoured co-promotion with M-1 Global did indeed come to fruition
- AA vs. Soa Palelei
- AA vs. James Mcsweeney – A dangerous stand up war no doubt
Who would you like to see Andrei Arlovski fight in One FC, and who do you think he will fight?
Post in the comments below, let us know!
Twitter @ Daniel Fletcher