At age 36, Andrei “Pitbull” Arlovski has arguably never looked better. Despite previously serving as the UFC heavyweight champion years ago, the Belarusian slugger hit some tough times between 2009 and 2011, losing four straight, three by way of stoppage.
Now, however, Arlovski has hit a hot streak, and appears to be running with it. Since returning to the UFC in 2014, he has won four straight with two brutal knock out victories.
Currently ranked No. 4 in the heavyweight division, the “Pitbull” is set for what could be deemed a title eliminator bout with No. 3 ranked Stipe Miocic in the co-main event of tomorrow night’s (January 2, 2016) UFC 195 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Apparently now training “smarter” at the famed Jackson-Winklejohn Academy in New Mexico, Arlovski claims that his title hopes are still alive and well:
“I still have a fire under my ass and I’m ready to go. I definitely want to be a champion again, but one step at a time. I have to beat Stipe and then we’ll see what’s going to be. I became a smarter fighter.” Arlovski said during a recent media scrum.
While a title shot could very well be on the line, taking out Miocic is no easy task.
The Croatian is 6-2 in the UFC and has won four out of his last five bouts, with his only loss in that stretch coming in a hard fought war with former champion Junior Dos Santos. He has since bounced back with a dominant win over Mark Hunt last May, and should be hungry to gain a title shot.
On the contrary, Arlovski appears to be in top form, and has established himself amongst the division’s elite at this point.
With the stakes higher than ever, who do you see prevailing this weekend?