In 2008, while on a three-fight winning streak, former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski cordially parted ways with the UFC to pursue fights in other organizations. He inked a deal with the start-up Affliction promotion and knocked out Ben Rothwell in the promotion’s debut event.
After he picked up a knockout win over Roy Nelson in an Affliction and EliteXC co-promoted event, Arlovski was lined up to face No. 1 heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko in January 2009. Arlovski was picking apart the former PRIDE champion. He had Emelianenko hurt and backed into the corner and leaped in with a flying knee. Emelianenko unloaded a counter right hand that landed as Arlovski was in the air. By the time his body came crashing to the canvas, Arlovski was unconscious.
“My nightmare is (expletive) when Emelianenko knocked my ass out in Affliction. You know it’s ridiculous. It was so far back, and six years ago it was the biggest fight of my life and you know I fought like, I don’t know, like, I just have bad words. I fought like a… anyway, I just, I did what I wasn’t supposed to do and I jumped with this flying knee, I gave him a present. I would love it if the UFC are going to sign him and I want a rematch,” Arlovski recently told Submission Radio.
“First of all because the fight before when I fought Ben Rothwell I jumped with a flying knee and I hurt Ben Rothwell. People went crazy, and for some reason I thought I can do anything that I want; I can throw elbows, knees, you know. And I jumped with a flying knee when I fought Emelianenko and I didn’t cover myself, just lights out,” said the Belarusian.
“John McCarthy woke me up and I was, that’s it. But the first four minutes I felt that every kick, every punch got the target. I saw he was hurt. I just needed to, at that time, I just needed to stick to the game plan [for the] first or second round and I [would’ve] whooped his ass definitely. But it is what it is, [it’s a] fact that he knocked my ass out and I lost that fight,” added the 36-year-old former UFC champion.
Following the knockout loss, Arlovski was defeated in his next three outings. He’s since rebuilt his career and returned to the UFC. He’s currently riding a four-fight winning streak and ranked seventh in the heavyweight division. He faces third-ranked Travis Browne at UFC 187 on May 23 in Las Vegas.