Nearly A Decade Later, Arlovski And Kyle Cross Paths Once Again

Anthony-Johnson Andrei Arlovski and Mike Kyle have crossed paths once before, and they will do so once again this weekend. Only, this time, they will actually punch each other in the face. Back in April 2004, when Arlovski was working his way up the ladder to become the heavyweight champion of the world and Kyle was considered a top prospect in the division, the two fought on the same night at UFC 47: Liddell vs. Ortiz. Kyle — who was a veteran of California promotions Gladiator Challenge, the WEC, and King of the Cage — took on Wes Sims, who was fresh off his foot stomping of Frank Mir, in the first televised fight of the night (there were no Facebook prelims back then) and, in his UFC debut, knocked out Sims at 4:59 of the first round, one of less than 10 fighters to achieve that feat in UFC history. After Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler put on their classic, Arlovski took on Wesley “Cabbage” Correira, a legend to hardcore MMA fans, and he beat the rock-headed Hawaiian up so bad that Correira was finished by strikes for just the second time in his career. It was the dominating performance that Arlovski became known for and it garnered the Belarusian a title shot against Sylvia, and in his next fight at UFC 51. Arlovski submitted ol’ Timmeh with an Achilles’ lock and took the interim UFC heavyweight title, which was later promoted to the undisputed championship when injured champion Mir’s recovery from a motorcycle accident took longer than expected. Arlovski went on to become one of the most celebrated and well-paid fighters in the world and, although he went on a skid in Strikeforce, he was still known as one of the top heavyweights in the world up until a few short years ago. Kyle, on the other hand, was knocked out by the late Justin Eilers at UFC 49 and was promptly cut by the UFC. He went back to the WEC but at WEC 20 he put on one of the most disgusting displays of cheapshots in MMA when he illegally soccer kicked Brian Olsen and then punched him after the bell. He was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission and wouldn’t return to the cage for almost two years. While he did have some surprising performances in Strikeforce, “Mac” never lived up to his potential. Now, nearly a decade later and after a ridiculous amount of fights fought and damage taken, the two will fight on the same card once again as Arlovski takes on Kyle in the main event of World Series of Fighting 5, and even though this fight lacks any sort of relevancy whatsoever, it’s still a fun fight and is definitely a matchup that the hardcore fans can appreciate. On one hand you have Arlovski with his feared striking and Sambo game, and in the other you have Kyle with his one-punch KO power. Both men have been knocked out countless times, meaning this is likely a fight that will come down to whatever man lands the harder strike on the chin first — or, in other words, heavyweight MMA. There is no way it goes the distance. Since this is a gambling site, I will say that I favor Kyle slightly because of Arlovksi’s extremely questionable chin, but since a line is not out I have no play to say yet. Regardless, this is a fun fight and the only bad thing about it is it will be taking place around the time of Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez, so many MMA fans (including myself) will miss it live. But I’ll catch it later since I know it’s going to be a good fight and I want to see who emerges victorious. For old time’s sake. And I hope all the other hardcores do, too.

Written by Adam Martin.

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World Series of Fighting 5 Opening Betting Odds

WSOF 5 Bet: Georgi Karakhanyan (-175) vs Waylon Lowe (+135)