Andrei Arlovski’s title shot run was setback by the heavy hands of Stipe Miocic in January, but the “Pitbull” hasn’t abandoned his goal of reclaiming the heavyweight championship.
Arlovski faced Miocic at UFC 195 that month, and the latter put him away with punches in under 60 seconds. The defeat was the former champ’s first since 2013, and ended his six fight winning streak. Up next, Arlovski is scheduled to fight fellow contender Alistair Overeem at UFC FN 87 on Sunday.
In a recent pre-fight video the UFC shot for Sunday’s card, Arlovski was quoted saying the following (quote via Bloody Elbow.com):
“My priority right now, train hard, fight hard and one day be a champion again,” Arlovski said. “It’s my second run in the UFC and this might be my last run in the UFC. It doesn’t matter that I was a champion, because I don’t live in the past. I live in the present and look forward into the future. At age 36 I became a smarter person. I became a smarter fighter and I’m right now in the right place for my training camp. Every morning when I wake up in camp, at my house, every time I remember what I want. I want to be champion, so I’m going to do everything possible to reach my goal.”
The loss to Miocic was a big blow, no question, as Arlovski likely would have locked up a title shot if he had won. But, when you consider the run the 37 year-old’s been on, and because he’s ranked #5, a big win this weekend could put him right back in the title shot mix (especially if Miocic loses to the champ Fabricio Werdum at UFC 198 on the 14th).
Another loss, particularly a stoppage defeat, however, would deal a serious blow to Arlovski’s contender status. It’s going to be fascinating to see what happens.
UFC FN 87 will go down in Rotterdam, Netherlands.