The last time Andrei Arlovski competed in the UFC, George Bush Jr. was still President of the United States. He was actually on a three-fight win streak before leaving, too (he would go on to an 8-5-1 record outside the promotion). He returned at tonight's (Sat., June 14, 2014) UFC 174 pay-per-view (PPV) at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada, in a heavyweight showcase opposite Brendan Schaub.
Well, welcome back ... I guess.
They clinched early, battling against the cage. The ensuing inactivity was such that referee John McCarthy demanded action and they separated, at which point Schaub got in a nice overhand right to establish his power.
But Arlovski's notoriously touchy chin absorbed the shot without shattering, as many jokingly predicted it would.
Instead, "The Pit Bull" stayed patient and maintained his control over the center of the Octagon. He avoided ensuing power shots from "The Hybrid" with relative ease while walking forward and picking his spots. Schaub continually looked for the big right hand while Arlovski snuck under and clinched up against the fence.
In between rounds, Greg Jackson demanded the Belarusian establish his jab because Schaub was going to spam the right hand. What happened was a repeat of the opening frame.
Schaub was inching ever closer to landing that big shot he was looking for.
Going into the third, the commentary team wondered who the hell was winning because, well, there was so little action in the first two rounds. "The Hybrid" opened with another windmill punch that missed wide but he finally adjusted and earned a takedown not long after, working from top with punches from guard.
Arlovski didn't get back to his feet until there was only one minute left in the fight and considering the previous 14, a finish should have been priority number one.
It may have been, but he didn't engage like it.
When the horn sounded, it seemed clear Schaub was the winner, even though his cheek ballooned up like it was rapidly filling with water.
Judges decision: 29-28 Schaub, 29-28 Arlovski, and 29-28 Arlovski.
For complete UFC 174 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.