Andrei Arlovski will face Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at UFC FN 51 this Saturday, and if the heavyweight hopes to extend his winning streak to four, things will have to go pretty differently then when they fought in 2010.
At Strikeforce’s “Heavy Artillery” card in May of that year, Arlovski dropped a unanimous decision to Silva, which marked his third consecutive loss. If you recall, Arlovski went on to face Sergei Kharitonov approximately 10 months later, and after he was quickly KO’d a wave of retirement calls swept over the former UFC champ.
“The Pitbull” has gone 7-1, with 1 no contests since (although sure, many folks had him losing versus Brendan Schaub at UFC 174, which was awarded to Arlovski by split decision).
Of course, one would think that both Silva and Arlovski have added to their arsenals, but why does the latter in particular, believe Saturday will hand him his 23rd pro win? While speaking to MMA Junkie.com recently, here is some of what Arlovski had to say.
“He was very heavy and very strong, and at the same time, I was smaller,” Arlovski said. “I was around 236 (pounds), so now I’m a bit heavier, and I spent a lot of time with my trainers. Definitely, it’s going to be a different fight right now.”
“Honestly, it was a really hard camp for me, and when I brought this coach from Russia, he made me do a morning workout before my morning workout and made me do sprints and work on heavy bag,” he said. “I’m already tired. I just want to finish my camp and fight already.”
There’s no doubt that “Bigfoot” is one massive and strong dude, so being in peak shape could definitely come in handy.
Arlovski also noted how important the fight is for him, since Silva is ranked #4 in the UFC’s heavyweight division. The Belarus vet is currently positioned at #14.
While a win over Silva would certainly do a lot for Arlovski from a ranking’s perspective, it would also help fans get over his fight with Schaub. If the victory was spectacular enough, it might even prompt some fans and observers to wonder if Arlovski has another big run in him at the age of 35.
Mr. Silva will be fighting for the first time since his ‘this is the greatest thing fight ever’ with Mark Hunt. The bout, as you likely recall, was declared a draw (Silva tested positive for elevated testosterone levels afterwards).
UFC FN 51 will go down at the Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia, Brazil, and will also feature Gleison Tibau taking on lightweight Piotr Hallmann.