Although Former UFC Heavyweight champion Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski is set to face Mike Pyle at this Saturday’s World Series of Fighting 5 event, he still has a goal to return to the promotion where he was once king.
In a recent interview, the 34-year-old fighter from Belarus said his goal is to one day return to the UFC and “get the champion’s belt” around his waist. Unless WSOF creates a heavyweight championship or Bellator calls, Arlovski could find himself back in the UFC, if he can manage to rack up notable wins. As he said in the interview, a victory over Pyle would be the first “big step.”
Arlovki went 9-4 in his UFC tenure, which included two world championships. Unlike most fighters who are forced to walk away with the octagon, The Pit Bull decided not to renew his contract and instead fight for organizations like Affliction, Elite XC and Strikeforce. Besides two wins – one of which was over Roy Nelson – and a big pay day from his fight against Fedor Emelianenko, Arlovski’s time away from the octagon was not that successful.
Still, he has won four of his six last fights. Not to mention that he has a good enough fight resume and a big enough fan base that has gained him enough of a stroke to where he can headline any fight card that has his name attached to it.
UFC President Dana White said that Arlovski would have to beat someone really good in order to get back in the UFC. If he can take out Pyle in an impressive fashion and then get a couple more big fights, fans could see The Pit Bull back in the octagon.
The big question is where would he find these big-name fights? WSOF is still in its infancy as a promotion and it does not have any big-name heavyweights on their roster. There is the possibility they could always sign more fighters. While Bellator has some notable talent in their weight classes, their heavyweight division is not deep in terms of talent and names, with the exception of Cheick Kongo.
To go off topic for a moment, why hasn’t Bellator approached Arlovski to fight for them?
Although MMA is perceived as a young man’s game, I think Arlovski has enough fight in him to where he could make his way back to the octagon. What I find interesting is that unlike past UFC champions – mainly Tito Ortiz and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson – Arlovski wants to be there. He wants to fight with the top guys in his weight class.
Even if it’s just for one fight, UFC fans would welcome back The Pit Bull with open arms.
What do you think it would take to see the Pitbull back in the UFC? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover.