Just Hours Before, UFC Didn’t Know If Andrei Arlovski Was Fighting

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UFC 187 went down last night (May 23, 2015) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and what a card it was. The card was headlined by two title fights and featured many great bouts from top to bottom, but one fight that stood out was a heavyweight clash between No. 3-ranked Travis “Hapa” Browne, and No. 8-ranked Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski.

The former UFC champ came out fast and aggressive, rocking Browne early on. “Hapa” battled back, dropping Arlovski before “The Pitbull” recovered and once again floored Browne to earn an ultra-impressive first round win. Check out the highlights of the “Fight of the Night” here.

Being a massive underdog, the way in which Arlovski won was quite shocking and “The Pitbull” definitely made a statement. What’s even more shocking, however, is that the former champion was pretty badly injured right up until the fight, and the UFC wasn’t even sure that he would make it to the Octagon.

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Speaking on the FOX Sports 1 post-fight show (Via MMAFighting), UFC president Dana White said that Arlovski suffered a calf injury, and just hours before the fight, the UFC didn’t think he was going to fight:

“Two hours before he came out, we didn’t think he was going to fight,” White revealed. “He popped something in his calf the night before, could barely walk, was limping. The doctors checked him out and I guarantee you, he gritted it out to show the doctors that he could fight. So the doctors said it’s up to you, do you want to fight? He said yes.

White also noted that Arlovski refused to pull out of the fight, showing “The Pitbull’s” heart, and making the victory all the more spectacular:

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“Then I had people go get him and bring him to my dressing room and said, ‘Do you want to fight? Are you sure you want to take this fight? You don’t have to take this fight.’ He looked at me and said, ‘Is this seriously why you just called me back here?’ I said yeah. He said, ‘I’m fighting,’ and he left my dressing room. And then came out and did that.”

Now being 3-0 since his return to the Octagon and having back-to-back first round finishes, Arlovski should be in line for quite a big fight, and possibly even a title fight. However, speaking at the post-fight presser, he stated that although he plans on becoming a champion, he’s taking things one step at a time:

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“One step at a time,” Arlovski said of his title chances. “If somebody’s going to call me tomorrow from the UFC about my next fight, then there’s my next opponent. But of course, obviously in the future I want to be a champion. Sooner or later, it doesn’t really matter. I can be in line, like other heavyweights, so I’m good. I still have a few more years in the UFC, so I’m good.”

What should be next for “The Pitbull”?

Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale for USA TODAY Sports