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Andrei Arlovski has got his groove back

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Mixed martial arts fans might have thought they were caught in some type of time vortex as they watched Andrei Arlovski pick apart Travie Browne during the UFC 187 main card.

The Pit Bull from Belarus delivered an outstanding performance against Browne in what could be an early candidate for “Fight of the Year.” Browne almost made a “Comeback of the Year” performance as he was able to land a right that sent Arlovski to the mat, only for the Pit Bull to compose himself and finish the fight. The thing that makes Arlovski’s win more impressive was that he had torn his calf the day before the fight and UFC officials weren’t sure if he would compete.

Some newer fans would call Arlovski’s win an upset. Browne was seen as a contender for the UFC heavyweight title after three-consecutive KO wins over Gabriel Gonzaga, Alistair Overeem and Josh Barnett. After dropping a decision to current interim heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum in a title eliminator bout, Browne scored a first-round TKO win over Brendan Schaub. But for longtime MMA fans, Arlovski looked like the Pit Bull of old. Terms like “resurrection” and “rebirth” get thrown around a lot in combat sports, especially when there’s a fighter who is making a comeback, but Arlovski is someone who has regained some of the – for lack of better term “mojo” – that made him one of the best competitors of his day.

Arlovski (24-10 1NC MMA, 13-4 UFC) is a two-time heavyweight champion and was one-time considered the baddest man in the octagon. Some folks could argue that when Arlovski was in his prime, the UFC’s heavyweight division wasn’t as stacked or as deep as it is today. While the UFC had some good fighters at heavyweight, many considered Pride Fighting Championships’ roster to be better.

He finished his first UFC was finished in 2008 with three consecutive wins – including a victory over a young Werdum – and decided to venture into other territories, including a fight against former Pride heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko that began a four-fight losing streak. During this time critics began to count out the former UFC champion, whose trainers approached him to consider retirement in 2011 following his knockout loss to Sergei Kharitonov in the first-round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. Arlovski exclusively started training with Greg Jackson, a relationship that began in 2009, and slowly began to rebuild himself. He won bouts in small promotions and World Series of Fighting. In April 2014, WSOF granted Arlovski his release to allow him to return to the UFC.

The Pit Bull picked up a decision over Schaub in a lackluster affair that still had critics questioning Arlovski’s value. He made waves in 2014 after knocking out Antonio Silva in their rematch – the first time Arlovski has ever earned a “Performance of the Night” bonus and avenged an earlier career loss.

After last night, Joe Rogan and others were talking about Arlovski being in the title picture. I could see him getting a big-name opponent like Junior dos Santos or Stipe Miocic but I don’t think he’ll fighting for a title anytime soon. Perhaps if Werdum defeats current heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez to unify the titles as a way to allow the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt to avenge an earlier loss in his career.

I also like the idea of Arlovski fighting elite strikers such as Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic or Mark Hunt. Down the road I could see him face Frank Mir.

Arlovski may never fight for the title, but right now he’s an asset to the UFC and it will be interesting to see how far he can go.

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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