WSOF 5's Andrei Arlovski says Mike Kyle is first step on long road back to UFC


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

Andrei Arlovski has been away from the octagon so long that some new UFC fans might not know who he is, or even that he’s a former champion.

Still, wherever “The Pitbull” fights, he headlines. There’s a history there to promote.

“I guess I’m just lucky,” Arlovski (30-10) joked while speaking to MMAjunkie.com Radio.

When Arlovski last competed in the UFC in 2008, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira won an interim strap that was created when Randy Couture turned down a fight with “Big Nog” after suddenly retiring from the promotion. Brock Lesnar had just made his debut.

Now, the division is topped by two dominant heavyweights – champ Cain Velasquez and ex-titleholder Junior dos Santos – who appear to be a cut above everyone else (and next month, decide who’s No. 1). But that might not be the case if Arlovski’s frequent sparring partner, light-heavyweight champ Jon Jones, decides to move up to the division.

Time is not on Arlovski’s side. He just turned 34 and will fight his 31st professional MMA bout when he meets UFC vet Mike Kyle (20-9-1) at World Series of Fighting 5, which takes place Saturday at Revel Atlantic City in New Jersey. (Main-card fights air live on NBC Sports Network following prelims on MMAjunkie.com.)

Arlovski, though, is still heavily invested in a comeback he hopes will land him back with the industry-leader, or if nothing else, put another title in his custody. He still works with one of the top MMA camps in the world at Jackson-Winkeljohn’s MMA in Albuquerque, N.M., and rubs shoulders with Jones and a bevy of other top fighters. Training close to champions, after all, is the age-old strategy for becoming one.

Or, in his case, becoming one again.

“I have only one personal goal: a champion’s belt around my waist, and that’s it,” said Arlovski. “I will do everything possible to be champion again, and I will do everything possible. That’s why I train with Greg Jackson and other top fighters in MMA. Greg and other coaches helps me every day to reach my goal.

“I understand I have a long, long way, but every day, I’m taking a step. Another big step is fighting against Mike Kyle.”

Kyle, 33, shares Arlovski’s reputation for taking as many knockouts as given, so Arlovski stands to add some footage to his aging highlight reel or go back, as he has so many times, to the drawing board. A recent headliner against former welterweight Anthony Johnson, whom he replaced to fight Kyle, led to a decision loss that derailed his return to glory.

While Arlovski won his last three fights in the UFC, he did not renew his contract and left for greener pastures in a then-crowded field of competitors. He won his first two bouts outside the UFC, but then went on a four-fight slump that took his career to the brink of extinction.

Yet it’s not impossible that Arlovski could close out his WSOF contract and return to the octagon. His current deal already allows him to fight in other promotions to stay sharp.

“It’s the main goal,” Arlovski said. “UFC has the best heavyweight division right now. But my first step is a victory over Mike, so I’m looking forward to Sept. 14, and we’ll see what happens after. But the UFC is the best organization in MMA right now.”

For more on WSOF 5, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie.com Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, MMAjunkie.com lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 27 days ago
  • 19 views

Antonio Silva won’t waste any time getting back to work when his suspension wraps up – and he apparently will be doing it at home in a rematch against Andrei Arlovski.Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC more

  • 17 days ago
  • 93 views

The dream of competing under the UFC banner is one that has been locked inside Cathal Pendred's mind for as long as he can remember.
The Dublin-based fighter made his professional debut back in 2009, and from the first time he stepped foot inside the cage, the idea of trading leather with the best in the world inside the Octagon shifted from fantasy to a goal to be achieved. It took only two years for the 26-year-old to become an established force on the European regional scene, where the SBG-tr more

  • 6 days ago
  • 11 views

Nostalgia act!
Joe Riggs and Andrei Arlovski are sharing a UFC card for the first time since UFC 55 back in 2005.
That's when "The Pitbull" slept Paul Buentello, on the same night "Diesel" stopped Chris Lytle on a cut. Now they're both back inside the Octagon for the UFC Fight Night 51 mixed martial arts (MMA) event on FOX Sports 1, which takes place on Sept. 13, 2014 inside Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia.
While Arlovski battles "Bigfoot" Silva in the main event, Riggs will take on Paulo Th more

  • 27 days ago
  • 51 views

Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva won’t get what he was hoping for.
"Bigfoot" was campaigning for a heavyweight clash with Josh Barnett, but he will instead face another former UFC champion in Andrei Arlovski in the main event of the UFC Fight Night card in Brasilia, Brazil, on Sept. 13. MMAFighting.com confirmed the match-up with sources close to the situation following a report from Combate.
Silva and Arlovski fought for the first time in 2010 under the Strikeforce banner, and "Bigfoot" came out victori more

  • 27 days ago
  • 51 views

Antonio Silva got the best of Andrei Arlovski under the Strikeforce banner in 2010. “Bigfoot” will apparently get the chance to do the same on his home soil this September. more

  • 26 days ago
  • 40 views

Their heavyweight rematch is expected to serve as event headliner.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is giving former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski a chance at redemption against heavyweight slugger Antonio Silva, as the pair will reportedly hook 'em up for a second time inside the cage at UFC Fight Night 51, which takes place on Sept. 13, 2014 inside Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia.
Globo reported the news (via MMA Fighting) on Thursday night.
Arlovski (22-10) lost to the Brazilia more

  • 26 days ago
  • 43 views

The rematch you've been dying to see is now reality, as Antonio Silva once again tangles with Andrei Arlovski this fall in Brasilia.
Your eyes aren't deceiving you - Andrei Arlovski is a UFC main event fighter in 2014.
To expand further, Arlovski will face Antonio Silva in a five-round fight on September 13th in the Brazilians capital of Brasilia. MMA Fighting confirmed the news first that was first reported by Combate. The main card will air live on Fox Sports 1.
Silva (18-5, 1 NC) is coming of more

  • 16 days ago
  • 35 views

Nighty night!
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight hurter, Antonio Silva, is jumping right back into the thick of things against Andrei Arlovski at UFC Fight Night 51, which takes place on Sept. 13, 2014 inside Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia.
"Bigfoot" has been benched since last December following a failed drug test.
When he does step foot inside the cage, it will be against a familiar face. He first did the dance with "The Pitbull" under the Strikeforce banner back in 2010, in more

  • 5 days ago
  • 14 views

A featherweight pairing between Niklas Backstrom and Mike Wilkinson has been added to UFC Fight Night Stockholm on Oct. 4 at the Globe Arena in Sweden. more