Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski left UFC on a three-fight winning streak, which is exactly what he'll have (again) if he can get past Anthony Johnson in his next fight. But would it earn him a second-look from ZUFFA officials?
The 34 year-old "Pitbull" hasn't seen the inside of the Octagon in over five years, a technical knockout win over Jake O'Brien at UFC 82 in early 2008. Arlovski insists he left ZUFFA on good terms -- in addition to his three-fight winning streak -- and hopes he can eventually earn his return to the world's premiere mixed martial arts (MMA) organization.
From his conversation with MMA Weekly:
"I left the UFC on good terms. I don't want the UFC to take me back in the UFC because I was a champion in the UFC. I want to earn the opportunity to be back in the UFC again. More importantly, with my career, every fight I've shown a good fight, and showed my skills, and showed that I'm getting better and better and better from fight to fight. Like I said, you never know. I might one day be in the UFC again, but I definitely want to be a champion and I want to be No. 1 in the world again because I know the taste of glory and the taste of being on top of the world. I also know that feeling when you're down. I definitely want to be a champion and I want to be on top of the world again. Definitely, I will be on top again."
Arlovski (19-9) is 6-4 (one no contest) since setting sail for greener pastures in competing promotions, but has struggled to rid fans of the memories they still have of his dreadful 0-4 run, which started and ended with devastating knockout losses to Fedor Emelianenko and Sergei Kharitonov.
He's been able to turn the corner, but his quality of opposition has been mediocre, at best.
The Belarusian will fight a more recognizable name in Anthony Johnson in the main event of World Series of Fighting (WSOF) II at the Revel Hotel & Casino on March 23, 2013 in Atlantic City, NJ, but a win over "Rumble" may not be the catalyst to his UFC return, considering Johnson used to compete at 170 pounds.
Time will tell.
How about it, fight fans, who wants to #Rally4Arlovski? Anyone think the former UFC titleholder has done enough to warrant a return to the big show? And what are his chances of success if he does?