Despite the outcry against the UFC‘s recent roster move, Andrei Arlovski returning to the UFC is a good thing. “The Pitbull” may never make a legit run at the heavyweight title, but he fills a small portion of a much larger void in the heavyweight division. Though he may be in the twilight of his career, Arlovski can still put together decent fights.
When you look at the landscape of the heavyweight division, the UFC can use “The Pitbull.” Every division needs a guy who will go to battle at a moments notice. Arlovski can be that guy for the division. He will not win the title, but he has the makings to be a top-12 guy in a division that needs a little help.
Arlovski will not beat the Junior dos Santos or Cain Velasquezs of the heavyweight division, but he can test young fighters looking to make a move up the ladder. The UFC didn’t sign “The Pitbull” because he could make a run for the title. They signed him to be a type of gatekeeper, basically. Plus, people know his name and will watch his fights just out of curiosity.
Over the past three years, Arlovski has only lost once (to Anthony Johnson). Although his major victories during that time were to Mike Kyle and Travis Fulton, a win is a win. One cannot take those victories away from Arlovski.
Arlovski’s career had its ups and downs in the past. During his glory years (roughly between late 2002 to late 2008), “The Pitbull” was a sound fighter known for his stand up game. He was a former UFC heavyweight champion who ended up finding that one guy who just had his number (Tim Sylvia).
During his Strikeforce tenure, Arlovski failed to win a bout. He lost three straight fights under the banner to Brett Rogers, Antonio Silva and Sergei Kharitonov. He finally found his footing upon his exit from Strikeforce.