Reader’s Choice 2015 Comeback Fighter of the Year: Andrei Arlovski

Three fighters stood out in the five nominations for 2015 Comeback Fighter of the Year generating 96-percent of the votes between them.

Lightweight Nate Diaz earned 21-percent of the votes to take the runner-up slot. Diaz fought once in 2015, returning after a year off to defeat top ten-ranked Michael Johnson on Dec. 19. With the win, Diaz returned to the rankings and put himself back in contender status.

Welterweight Demian Maia received 10-percent of the fan votes earning him an honorable mention. Maia fought three times in 2015, defeating Ryan LaFlare, Neil Magny and Gunnar Nelson. A title contender in 2013, Maia lost back-to-back fights before going on his current four-fight winning streak.

Former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski brought in 65-percent of the votes earning him the 2015 MMAWeekly Reader’s Choice Comeback Fighter of the Year.

In 2011, most had written Arlovski off and felt that “The Pit Bull’s” better days were well behind him after he suffered four consecutive loses. After winning six of his next eight outings, Arlovski found himself back in the UFC. He defeated Brendan Schaub in his return to the octagon and finished out 2014 with a knockout over Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.

In 2015, Arlvoski’s rise back to the top of the heavyweight division continued as he defeated title contender Travis Browne in the opening round at UFC 187 in May.  The back-and-forth battle earned Fight of the Night honors and was one of the most exciting rounds in UFC heavyweight history.  The Belarusian followed up his win over Browne with a unanimous decision victory over former titleholder Frank Mir in September.  The win put Arlovski in title contention.

His improbable comeback was slowed when he was knocked out by Stipe Miocic on Jan. 2 at UFC 195, but that doesn’t take away what he was able to accomplish in 2015.

2015 Comeback Fighter of the Year

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