After 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.
Welcome back Andrei Arlovski!
— Dana White (@danawhite) April 24, 2014
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.