He's back! UFC re-signs former Heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski

Photo via MMAmania.com

For the first time in recent memory, UFC has inked a deal with a mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran a rival promotion was disinterested in re-signing.

It's been more than six years since Andrei Arlovski graced the Octagon, but that drought is about to end sometime this year after Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently re-signed its former Heavyweight to a contract, according to company president Dana White, who just announced the news via Twitter.com.

Terms and duration of the deal are not known at this time; however, MMAFighting.com reports that "Pitbull" -- who was granted his WSOF release despite one fight remaining on his current deal -- is under consideration to possibly make his return against Brendan Schaub in the near future.

Arlovski, of course, most recently competed under the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) banner. The Belorussian was seemingly the crown jewel on the upstart mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion's roster, but he failed to deliver on his promise after a unanimous decision loss to Anthony Johnson, a bloated former Welterweight who will actually headline UFC 172 this weekend (Sat., April 26, 2014) against Phil Davis in a 205-pound showdown.

After an orchestrated low-profile win over Jake O'Brien at UFC 82 back in March 2008, Arlovski set sail to work for Affliction MMA along with several other big Heavyweight names such as Fedor Emelianenko and Josh Barnett. The experiment was a total disaster, however, and the organization soon shuttered its operation thanks to intense UFC pressure.

Nonetheless, White was always complimentary about how Arlovski and his management team handled his exit. In fact, as recently as last year, White admitted that there were "no issues whatsoever" with Arlovski even though he thought the fight against "Rumble" at WSOF 2 was "not legit."

That's probably because Arlovski had always planned to return to UFC, even though not even he could have predicted his circuitous path.

Arlovski defeated Tim Sylvia at UFC 51 via first round submission (heel hook) in Dec. 2005 to win the interim UFC Heavyweight title, but would later lose it to "The Maine-iac" more than one year later at UFC 59 via technical knockout in round one. The rivals would run it back immediately six months later at UFC 59 in one of the most awful main events ever, a monotonous decision win for Sylvia.

He'd win his next three matches, including a unanimous decision over current No. 1 division contender Fabricio Werdum, before becoming a prized free agent.

Arlovski compiled a serviceable record (8-5-1) with Affliction MMA, Elite XC, Strikeforce, WSOF and Belarus-based Fight Nights. During that time he endured a brutal four-fight stretch, highlighted by three devastating (technical) knockouts that naturally suggested his chin was damaged goods.

Or maybe it was just this jacked-up jaw.

Nevertheless, he most recently stopped Andreas Kraniotakes via technical knockout (punches) at Fight Nights: "Battle on Nyamiha" in Nov. 2013.

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