Since UFC 187 will feature not one, but two title fights, the card’s heavyweight scrap between Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne has been overshadowed some what. It’s a big fight, not only because of the contender status of both men, but because of their history.
Browne (17-2-1) is coming off a stoppage win over Brendan Schaub in December, which ensured the 6’7 tall fighter remained a top five ranked heavyweight (#3).
The resurgent Arlovski (23-10), meanwhile, has defeated Schaub and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva since returning to the UFC, and has worked his way into the #8th position.
Skills and rankings aside, it’s also a compelling bout because Browne and Arlovski are former teammates and pals. As a result, Browne recently told MMA Junkie.com the following:
“It’s obviously not the most ideal fight, because we’re friends,” Browne said. “It was not necessarily the first fight I would take, but we both understand that it’s business, and we understand why we’re doing it. It’s just what happens in this sport.”
“I feel honored to fight a guy like Andrei,” he said. “He’s a great fighter; he’s a legend in the sport, and it’s definitely somebody for me to put my skills against.”
Of course, Browne and Arlovski aren’t the first buddies to fight in the Octagon, but anytime it happens, it certainly raises the buzz up a few notches.
It will be really interesting to see whether Arlovski can continue his come back run. While the former champ clearly remains a dangerous presence, if he can defeat Browne, it would be considered a significant upset.
UFC 187 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.