Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will not be asked to return to Affliction MMA now that his three-fight contract with the promotion has been satisfied, according to remarks from company vice president Tom Atencio in a recent interview with Fighters Only magazine.
Here's his reasoning:
"His contract has expired and right now we have so many fighters under contract that we are just concentrating on working with them ... we are not [talking to Arlovski about a new contract] right now."
"The Pitbull" recently accepted a short-notice bout against heavyweight wrecking ball Brett Rogers at Strikeforce: "Lawler vs. Shields" on June 6, which was an appearance sponsored by Affliction.
It didn’t last very long.
Arlovski -- a heavy favorite -- was dropped just 22 seconds into the fight by an aggressive and hard-hitting Rogers, handing the Belarusian his second straight defeat via first round knockout. Prior to stepping inside the cage with "The Grim," Arlovski came up short against champion Fedor Emelianenko in their WAMMA world title fight back on Jan. 24, 2009.
It’s unclear at this time where Arlovski will land next.
UFC President Dana White has always had good things to say about his former champion (even though he recently remarked that he "has no chin") and tried very hard to keep him from bolting back in 2008. However, the recent back-to-back losses could make the promotion think twice about bringing him back into the fold so soon.
Of course, Arlovski could take this as a sign to finally pursue his professional boxing career, which is one of the main reasons he left the UFC in the first place. He was finally expected to make his sweet science debut on the under card of the Victor Ortiz vs. Marcos Maidana fight on HBO at The Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif., on June 27.
But the appearance was but on pause once again when Arlovski was hit with a medical suspension after the loss to Rogers, which meant that he wouldn't be ready in time for fight night. Regardless, boxing may be his best option right now.
That's because he can test the waters and determine whether or not it really is the sport that he wants to pursue in the future or if he should focus 100 percent on mixed martial arts.
Clearly, wanting to do both has not worked in his favor.
In short, Arlovski has always been considered one of the top strikers in mixed martial arts, but it’s anyone’s guess as to how that talent would transfer over to a world championship boxing match.
Maybe it’s time to find out once and for all.