MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: Arlovski Returns To UFC, Targeted For UFC 174 Fight Against Schaub

Anthony-Johnson “The Pitbull” has finally returned to the UFC. UFC president Dana White yesterday announced the return of former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski to the Octagon. The move was made possible after World Series of Fighting released Arlovski from his contract with them and he became a free agent, which led him to quickly re-sign with the world’s largest fighting promotion.

Although it’s not official yet, according to reporter Steven Marrocco at, Arlovski is targeted for a bout against fellow heavyweight Brendan Schaub at UFC 174 this June in Vancouver, BC, Canada. If that is indeed the case, expect “The Pitbull” vs. “The Hybrid” to be on the main pay-per-view card for that event, and it should be a good scrap when it goes down. The decision to Arlovski really came out of nowhere, but I actually really like this signing and think the UFC made a good call to bring back the former champ. Now 35 years of age, Arlovski has gone 6-1, 1 NC over his last eight bouts and is currently on a two-fight win streak of Andreas Kraniotakes and Mike Kyle. Although he did lose to a smaller Anthony Johnson in his WSOF debut, he was still fairly competitive during that bout and overall he hasn’t been stopped in over three years since a knockout loss to Sergei Kharitonov in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. A powerful puncher with a solid ground game, Arlovski is a good fighter and considering the lack of talent in the UFC heavyweight division, it made sense to bring him back for another run. Still, while he has looked pretty good as of late, he of course still has one big problem: his chin. Arlovski has been knocked out seven times in his MMA career, which is currently tied for the second-most knockouts against of any fighter on the UFC roster with TJ Waldburger and Frank Mir, and only Alistair Overeem has been knocked out more times with nine T/KO defeats (credit Tim Burke for that stat). Fortunately for him, at least the UFC is giving him a fair matchup against Schaub, who himself has been knocked out three times (but in less fights), and it’s definitely a winnable fight for “The Pitbull,” although I do expect Schaub to be favored heading into the matchup. Based on his youth and speed advantage, I would peg Schaub around -200 for this fight but going up against a heavy hitter like Arlovski this is definitely not a lock by any means and I actually expect a fairly-competitive fight between these two talented, yet flawed, heavyweight fighters, one that likely ends inside the three-round distance.

Written by Adam Martin.

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