Former Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski Returns to the UFC

April 24, 2014
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Andrei Arlovski 470x260After six years fighting outside of the organization, former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski returns to the UFC. UFC president Dana White tweeted the news on Thursday and a UFC official later confirmed the news with MMAWeekly.com.


Arlovski (21-10, 1 NC) captured the interim UFC heavyweight title at UFC 51 in February 2005 by submitting Tim Sylvia with an achilles lock in just 47 seconds. He defended the title against the late Justin Eilers at UFC 53 and was named the heavyweight champion. He defeated Paul Buentello at UFC 55 before losing back-to-back fights to Tim Sylvia.

He last competed in the Octagaon on March 1, 2008 at UFC 82 where he defeated Jake O’Brien by technical knockout. He left the UFC on good terms and signed with the now defunct Affliction fight promotion and fought in their inaugural event in July 2008. He next fought in an EliteXC and Affliction co-promoted event knocking out Roy Nelson. In January 2009, Arlovski got the fight every heavyweight was clamoring for at the time, a match-up with Fedor Emelianenko at Affiction: Day of Reckoning. He lost via knockout to the former Pride champion in the first round. He’d lose his next three fights under the Strikeforce banner.

Following his stint in Strikeforce, Arlovski fought in ProElite, ONE FC and World Series of Fighting. He’s gone 6-1-1 in his last eight fights. Arlovski last competed on Nov. 29, 2013, defeating Andreas Kraniotakes by TKO.

It’s unknown who the 35-year-old will face in his return bout, or when that will be.

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  • Dragon Kid

    Arlovski vs Gonzaga is something I’d like to see.

    • Drock420

      That actually sounds like an entertaining fight, like someone would def get knocked out in that fight.

      • Guest

        Probably Arlovsky. I’ve got nothing against him, but was there ever a case of a chin actually hardening? However, if he manages to whether the storm, he got the decision, as the fight with Miocic showed, Gonzaga lacks versatility.

  • Kyle Reusch

    I would like to see him at LHW…. Dudes in HW are too much for him currently.

    • Milkman

      Lhw could be interesting.

      • Kyle Reusch

        Cormier is about the same weight with less muscle mass so it would be a tad harder for Andre, but if guys like Jones can drop from 235 he should have no problem. Just get Mike Dolce on your side…

  • Milkman

    Yes! Huge arlovski fan. Welcome back. Chin or no chin win or lose I’ve always been entertained by him.

  • cs

    I love Andrei but he really doesn’t have a good chin for heavyweight. He has a win over Roy Nelson but Roy would KO him now.

    • fsunoles10

      would he? or would arlovski kill him with the same game plan fighters such as jds and miocic beat him with? im thinking arlovskis footwork and cardio would carry him to the w. nelsons striking isnt impressive at all he just has power but nothing that wows you in terms of combos or diversity or anything other than power really.

  • $519387

    This is crazy!! His best days were YEARS ago! So they let him come back and Shields is gone? WOW! Makes no sense to me!! Is Dana losing it??

    • muaahaaa

      Arlowski is atleast ENTERTAINING. Shield.. really? why do people care? Hes SOOO BORING. So you are telling me you enjoy watching his humpfest? His Lay N Pray effort into decision and horrible striking.

      • David

        Look how many comments this story has already. Not too much but decent. Shields posts were?? Oh yea noone cares about him.

    • Seth

      Also, look at the divisions. Welterweight is packed now with top contenders. Heavyweight? Not so much. You have Werdum next, then who? Browne prolly if he beats someone on top, JDS will never get another shot as long as Cain holds the belt, same goes for Bigfoot, Reem won’t make it back, Mir is done, Barnett…maybe…MAYBE, but that would be at least 2-3 fights for him. Arlovski most likely will get a top dog, someone like Browne for example – just to launch him right into title mix.

      UFC is desperate now with Heavyweights, because that division is at this point by far the worst division in the UFC.

      • $519387

        Seth you said it best! The UFC is desperate which is the only word that describes bringing in Andrei but I’d rather see them bring back Cro Cop!!

        • shakejunt

          this comment completely nullifies any semblance of legitimacy your original post had.

          • $519387

            Have you lost it junt? So Andrei has beaten such well known high ranked guys as Andreas Kramiotakes, Mike Kyle, Mike Hayes, Devin Cole, Travis Fulton, Ray Lopez, a NC with an out of shape and totally way too old Tim Sylvia not to mention losses to Sergei Kharitonoc,Brett Rogers, Antonio Silva, and Fedor etc etc!! Trust me, this guy has seen his best days like YEARS AGO!!!

          • shakejunt

            ha my bad, didn’t mean to be so hostile. i just think cro cop is way further gone, in mma, than arlovski.

        • Seth

          What? Why would you bring Cro Cop? Isn’t he busy with his WWE-style return to K1 or something?

          • $519387

            Had no idea K i was the same as WWE. UFC is a lot closer to the WWE than K 1 which is why guys like Chael are so popular.. Get with the program

          • Seth

            Seriously? Then Cro Cop WON K1 GP in croatia? I recall him losing twice that night. Come on, we all know they moved GP to Croatia for him as they knew they will make way more money with him winning it there.

          • $519387

            Who said he won in Croatia??Not me. And yes I agree that they had it there because of him!

            So????????

          • Seth

            You said K1 is not WWE style – but since he lost there twice, how he “won” grand prix? They wanted him to win, they needed him to win, so he won.

            Looks pure-WWE to me.

          • $519387

            C’mon, everyone knows K 1 is not like the fake WWE. Get with it buddy.
            Back to Andrei coming back – I feel the same way about bringing BJ Penn back!! That is absurd. He’s another has been. Lost to Edgar twice and will lose to him a third time. He’s ancient history. The sport has moved on a lot since BJ was “the guy”. Kinda like how the Gracie myth started and then people caught on and moved on and now the sport is totally different.
            The point is – why bring back has beens like Andrei? And I’ll even thrown in Cro Cop who I’m sure will never come back UNLESS Dana has the UFC coming to Croatia!!

          • Seth

            Yeah, ignore the fact that they did K1 GP in Croatia ONLY to let Cro Cop win…classy.

            Now back to Arlovsky – its way different from BJ, like I said UFC is DESPERATE to get any HW fighters. If they have big name, that’s a jackpot. They need big names and heavyweights – so if you combine both of them in one person, you have guaranteed UFC signee. Simple.

          • $519387

            “big names”???

            Oh this is funny as hell! Obviously you’re a newcomer to MMA my friend. I started doing martial arts in 1976, have watched the UFC since # 1, and still practice and teach it. But anyway, that aside, I can’t believe you can actually think that Arlovsky is a “big name” anymore! Sure. maybe 12 – 14 years ago he was but c’mon. Not in 2014!! I hate to tell you but the sport has changed a hell of a lot since he was beating and losing to Tim Sylvia. It’s almost a different sport and Arlovsky is a dinosaur and has been for YEARS and YEARS. That’s why Dana dumped him. Plus he has a glass chin and gets knocked out by sub par guys. And probably 95% or more of the currebt UFC fans have never heard of him!

            WOW!! You are in another world old buddy!!

          • Seth

            Big name doesn’t mean current GOAT. Big name means a name that people recognize, idiot. Even your beloved Cro Cop and that fake russian so-called “GOAT” are big names, even when that they suck even more today.

          • $519387

            Oh my God! How many times do I have to try and get this to sink in to your goat brain!! Seriously, if you think that the current UFC fan recognizes the name Andrei Arlovsky then I have another bridge to sell you!

            Guess what? The days when people knew who he was is LONG LONG gone old buddy. I would be shocked if even 5% of the current UFC fan knows who the hell he was and I’ll also bet that out of those 99.9% think he’s retired a long time ago or dead!

            Cro Cop was just an example idiot.

            You totally missed the point although I don’t think you’ll ever get it!

          • Seth

            It’s not me who’s mad over comment in the internet, dummy.

            YOU would be shocked how many people know Andrei and are fan of his. And I’m not talking about fans that started watching MMA after you year 2000, when you were born, but also the older ones. If you are stuck in your “I know everything, you all are idiots, because I saw UFC 1″ bubble, its your problem. Im not here to educate you or prove you anything. You chose to be ignorant and it’s your problem, not mine.

          • $519387

            “Shocked” would not be the word I’d use goat boy. “WIshful thinking” would be more appropriate as the current MMA fan IF they have ever heard of him (which I sincerely doubt) would say that he was an old MMA fighter (when MMA wasn’t even close to what it is today!) who either retired years ago or is dead!

            I don’t know what it is with you and Arlovsky? Are you related? Are you dating? Do you have a man crush on him? Obviously there’s something there because your ideas have nothing to do with rationality.

            Besides you, I think the person who has maybe an even bigger problem is Dana White. If he is that desperate to bring back someone who will mean NOTHING (and I mean nothing) for business then he’d do better to bring back Tito or even Randy Couture as these are two guys that today’s MMA fan has actually heard of and who would bring people and ratings in but a relic like Arlovsky?? No way buddy!

          • Seth

            Yeah, bring Tito who just like Lil Nog either turns down fights, or withdraw from them when he hit his toe. Bring back lying f–k like Couture. Those are role models, aren’t they? UFC’s HW Div barely exists. If you are against signing HWs, then I’m with you – let’s get rid of that meaningless division. But if you want to keep those big guys, you need to sign whoever is available on the market. Arlovsky has a history with UFC, older fans know him and if kids like you don’t – nobody cares. He’s for sure better than overhyped and overrated big foot or reem.

    • shakejunt

      well you see one guy has fans and the other guy doesn’t. that clear up your confusion?

      • $519387

        I totally agree with you on this. Cro Cop is a world famous kickboxer and MMA star and has a HUGE following whereas who really has heard of Andre A???? Thanks for pointing this out pal.

        • Lucas Freire

          Some guys get a second wind, since his departure from Zuffa events he’s 8-1-1.

          • $519387

            But look at the 8-1-1!!!!!

        • shakejunt

          arlovski was ufc champion and hasn’t begun to lose to sub-par guys yet. brett rogers was a monster at that point in time.

          • $519387

            “arlovski was ufc champion and hasn’t begun to lose to sub-par guys yet.”
            So what? Do you know how many years ago that was? So was Tim Sylvia and he lost to a retired boxer!

            If you seriously think he hasn’t lost yet to sub par guys then I have a bridge in Brookyln to sell you!!

          • shakejunt

            show me the bridge.

            fedor, brett rogers was on a killing spree, bigfoot is top 10, kharitonov is one of the best hw’s outside the ufc, rumble is real deal. he’s not getting neck cranked by some random russian guy.

          • $519387

            Thank you. You just proved my point that Andrei’s best years were LONG AGO. He was KO’d by an way overrated and heading to retirement Fedor in 3:14, a total nothing Rogers (NOTE: Please give me a list of the “big names” this fat slob beat except for of course his 22 second KO of your “big name” boy!) ) and lost an unanimous decision to Johnson! WOW!!

            Seriously shakejunt (?) if you were Dana would you really sign this 35 year old has been to a contract? And the next question is: WHY? Unless you’re paying him something like $6000 for a fight to take a dive why the hell bother? Find another heavyweight who is actually up and coming and try and build a future around him and not someone who will be knocked out in the first 30 seconds! This is insane.

          • shakejunt

            your whole idea of retroactively down-ranking opponents is ridiculous.

            oh he lost to a “declining” fedor? add him to the list, you can’t be serious saying fedor is a bad loss for him.

            oh brett rogers was a nobody? was that why he got a fight with fedor after that? guy was a scary prospect.

            bigfoot is sub par? to cain maybe and dos santos maybe.

            sergei should be in the ufc, period.

            rumble has shown that he can hang with top guys in all divisions.

            i get it, you don’t think he’s worth re-signing. but the reality is that he’s a name hw and is projected to be top 15 before his fight even happens. you said re-sign cro cop, but that’s plain silly at this point. rant over.

            wait i forgot to add a million exclamation points to emphasize how smart i am.

            !!!!!!!!!??!!!!

          • $519387

            You are avoiding my main point which is that Arlovsky is NOT a name hw in the MMA buyer world of 2014!! Maybe in 2000 or 2002 but not now. How in the world can you possibly say this with I assume is a straight face!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            And to say that he is projected to be top 15 before any fight happens is just plain crazy. Where in the hell did you ever come up with that? It’s insane.

            As to Cro Cop I wouldn’t resign him either because he too is hanging around way too long past his prime but compared to Arlovsky his name would mean something in 2014!

            C’mon, admit that you’re on some kind of drugs or pills cause no sane MMA fan could or would utter the downright insanity of your love affair with Andrei!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • shakejunt

            you really need to resort to making some sort of homosexual insinuation?… really? that’s weak.

            your point is that he’s over the hill, which i agree, but you’re not acknowledging how shallow hw is. brendan schaub is 15-20…

            cro cop’s name is only relevant to kickboxing and even there he’s fringe.

            obviously you’re the one who is out of touch with what’s in the mma world because the ufc felt it the right move to bring him back.

          • $519387

            Oh my God. We agree!! Yes he’s totally over the hill. Thank you sir.
            Why Dana would bring him back is one huge mystery although Dana has never been known for always doing the most intelligent thing.

            End of discussion.

          • shakejunt

            oh your god indeed!

            arlovski will make the ufc more money than shields at this point!!!!!

          • $519387

            SETH – First I’m 68 so I’m not a kid. Second, the UFC needs to develop NEW heavyweights not recycle old ones like an aging Arlovsky who saw his prime 10-12 years ago. You just don’t get it do you! I brought Tito and Randy’s names up because IF in fact they would come back to the UFC (which i doubt) and IF Dana wanted to make a quick big buck then I’d easily try and get either one back anyday than to bring back a guy that hardly anyone who buys PPV’s these days has ever heard of! It’s that simple. Yes, older fans like me and you have heard of him but we are NOT the demo that UFC makes its’ money on. Don’t you get this?

            SHAKEJUNT (??) – Actually in my opinion Shields is not any kind of money maker at all but at least UFC buyers today know the name whereas I sincerely doubt if 1% have any idea who Arlovsky was! He”s a has-been!!

          • shakejunt

            fran (??)

            being a has-been is better than a never-was!!! hw is thin, even outside the ufc. yes they need fresh talent, but it’s simply just not there which is why they’ve done so few hw tuf’s!!!!!! brazil 3 is interesting in that respect!!

            !!!!!

          • $519387

            “being a has-been is better than a never-was”!

            Hey buddy, if you were Dana White would you SERIOUSLY spend money (well, any serious money) on bringing back a has-been and if so WHY since the demographics they have is something like 18-29 year old males!! So when The Pit Bull was “popular” these guys were kids or just getting out of high school and were not paying customers and have never heard of Arlovsky at all!!!

            As far as getting new heavyweights, that will happen with time. The best thing to do is start trying to groom up and coming ones NOT hiring old fighters who have lost most of their skills and who are dinosaurs!

          • shakejunt

            well seeing as i’m part of that demographic, you’re obviously misinformed. the way you groom new hw talent is by seeing how they fare against the old guard.

            how about this.. let’s make a bet: if arlovski beats schaub, you go away for a month and vice versa for me. you gonna stand by your convictions?

          • $519387

            Just for fun I decided to check the absurd statement that is being made that UFC has a shortness of heavyweights! Not counting the ridiculous signng of the has been there are 35 on the roster: http://www.ufc.com/fighter/Weight_Class/Heavyweight

            So anyone who thinks that they are short on heavyweights is just dumb as hell!

          • shakejunt

            anyone who quotes a number without reading the list first is even more so…

            on the list:
            pat barry – cut, carwin – retired, duffee – perpetually injured, antoni hardonk – hasn’t fought in 5 years, mir – lost 4 in a row, old manotauro should retire, rothwell pissed hot, and brandon freaking vera.

            25 guys isn’t a stacked division. the gap between top 10 and everyone else is so large that schaub is top 15 by virtue of winning 2 fights in a row.

            please ban bet me.

          • $519387

            No way. You know nothing about how to groom new talent. If you knew ANYTHING about boxing / kickboxing / MMA you get your guy the up and coming guy fights with guys who have a good record but are not yet in the Top 20 or so. By getting wins after wins this way and getting better people you get experience and when your coach thinks you’re ready you get closer to fights with guys who are in the Top 20 or higher. What good does it do if say Fighter X gets a win over Randy Couture or Tim Sylvia or the has-been Arlovsky? Seriously, it does absolutely NO good because people will say yeah you won but look who you beat – a washed up 39, 40, 41, etc year old who shouldn’t be fighting anymore! So do you really think that makes your stock any higher? Hell no, in fact it will probably even pull you down a notch!

            Shake yourself up Shakejunt! You need help!

          • shakejunt

            in any other division, sure. hw isn’t like that. you’re entiteld to your opinion, but your opinion is straight up wrong. look at the talent they’ve signed recently at hw:

            ruslan magomedov coming off win over sylvia, alexy oleinik coming off win over cro cop, signed soa after he beat mckorkle, anthony hamilton coming off win over darill schoonover. unless you’re undefeated, beating a ufc vet means more than beating some scrub as evidenced by these signings.

            just bet me. if you’re so sure then man up and agree. you talk so damn much and have nothing to say other than “arlovski is washed up.” so just accept. i’m sure you’d like having me not here for a month.

          • $519387

            No difference between any weight class!

            I just thank God you’re not my trainer because how can anyone think a win over Arlovsky will do ANYTHING good for someone’s career? And I mean ANYTHING! If you beat him so what. You’ve beaten a has been. If you lose, your career is over and you’re laughed at! It’s ridiculous and I can’t even believe I’m having this discussion with someone who just doesn’t get it.

            I have disagreed with Dana a lot as have tons of real trainers. The real questions are
            1) Why Dana would want Arlovsky back unless he’s paying him peanuts literally and
            2) Why would Schaub’s management take the fight!

            I am sick of having this discussion with someone like you who probably never fought a day in his life and it totally clueless!

          • shakejunt

            so what you’re saying is that you’re afraid to stand by your words? cuz that’s what i’m getting out of this…

          • $519387

            You idiot! Of course I stand by my words. Sounds like you have nothing to comment on anymore since I proved your theory ridiculous!

          • shakejunt

            ok so it’s a bet?

            if schaub wins, i won’t post for a month. if arlovski wins, you don’t post here for a month. simple enough, old-timer?

          • $519387

            Agree little boy!!!

          • shakejunt

            awesome ha. i’m just glad to get some closure on this. i don’t mind having long-winded debates, but this has just gotten ridiculous between us.

  • drkdisciple

    Another example of how weak the hw division is…why else would Dana hire a guy who has no chin and who’s best years are behind him.

    • Kenny Powers

      Well the HW division isn’t weak, its the most stacked HW division in any organization ever, but its kinda weird they would bring him back now. Is Tim Sylvia next?

      • fsunoles10

        cuz he is 6-1-1 in his last 8 and kinda got shitted that johnson fight with the whole fight clock ordeal.

    • shakejunt

      guy fought rumble for 2 more rounds with a broken jaw. his best years are behind him, but i think he still beats the schaub’s and gonzaga’s of the division. he’d be top 15.

  • brad king

    arloski vs rumble rematch!

  • fsunoles10

    a lot of people forget nelson got ko’ed by arlovski, i make sure to always remind people if i ever see them say nelson has never been knocked out or anything close to it. genuinely excited for his return though, i personally thought he got the shaft in his fight vs johnson and set him back from getting this call earlier.

  • David Huenecke

    As much as i love him coming back it makes me wonder if he can still hang with the new breed of hws brock lesnar brought in. These guys are the not the big and fat slow guys they used to be. I cant see him lasting long with jds or cain. Maybe he should fight mir for a tune up.

  • dgs

    “Former Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski Returns to the UFC” Why???

    Is the UFC heavyweight talent pool not deep enough that they need to bring in a fighter past his prime? Arlovski posses little threat to fighters like Dos Santos, Velasquez, Browne, Silva, Wedum (that slap fighting crap that happened in their last fight would not happen today, Werdum would KO or sub him without much effort), etc.

    Always enjoy watching Arlovski fight, and I think he is a classy fighter, both in and out of the ring, but I just don’t understand why he was brought back.

    • shakejunt

      95% of fighters aren’t threats to the title holder of their respective weight class.

      and to answer your question, yes heavyweight is that thin that they need anyone with name value.

      • dgs

        The point I was trying to make is, I don’t think Arlovski is a threat to any of the UFC heavyweights, not just Velasquez. However since I really enjoy watching Arlovski fight, and as I said think he’s a class act in and out of the ring, I would love to be proven wrong!

    • Ray Lane

      I bet he goes 3-3

    • Lucas Freire

      Name 3 fighters from any other division who poses a threat to the reigning champion.
      Only on super duper stacked divisions like WW and LW this is a possible scenario.

  • Seth

    Well, that shows how desperate UFC is to sign Heavyweights. That division is by far the weakest in the UFC… :/ Which champ had to fight the same 2 opponents in his last 5 fights?

    But don’t take me wrong! I love to see Arlovski in the UFC again! :)

    • shakejunt

      barao fought faber twice, but i see your point. hw needs everyone it can get, hopefully they can bring in kharitonov too.

    • Ray Lane

      It’s funny that the UFC HW division is so poor. The joke even a few months ago was that Bellator’s HW division was worthless. However, they now seem to have a pretty good field.

    • Lucas Freire

      The three last champs of the lightweight division, Lyoto Machida, Anderson Silva, Jones prolly will do it, Dominick Cruz, Mighty Mouse, Weidmann did it too…

      • Seth

        Hmmm…Lyoto rematched Shogun once. Silva rematched Sonnen AFTER fighting Vitor and Okami. Jones MAY rematch Gus after one fight. Weidman had back to back fights with GOAT. Cain fought JDS – Big foot – JDS – Big foot – JDS. Kinda fn different thing, isn’t?

  • Artemis

    Orlovski still is a treat to heavyweight division. He trains at Jackson’s, and he didn’t loose via KO since 2011 Feb. That fight with Johnson they had an illegal accident – 1st round laster more than 5 min., and he still fiught 2 more with broken jaw. Andrei is a nice guy and true fighter.

  • Fornicator

    Good, I think Arlovski is an exciting fighter, and everybody here can lick my balls.

  • Shartnado2, the Sloppy One

    He sucks now but give him a chance, he used to be good

  • TheCerealKiller

    This is great for the HW division! If he strings together a few wins, they market a title fight for old vs new. I don’t see it happening, but it could.