One of the great things about mixed martial arts (MMA) is the wide variety of fights you can expect to see inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon.
Sometimes you will get a technical masterpiece, and other times you will get a slobberknocker where caution is thrown to the wind, and both types can be equally as exciting.
At the UFC 187 pay-per-view (PPV) last night (Sat., May 23, 2015) live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, fight fans were treated to a plethora of intriguing battles, but the highlight of the evening unquestionably came during the heavyweight bangfest pitting good friends and former training partners Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne against one another.
Fists were flying early and often, as "The Pitbull" scattered "Hapa's" brains with a vicious short right hand early on in the contest. As Browne tried to clear the cobwebs, Arlovski pounced looking for the finish, and was nearly decapitated by a wild right hook from the Hawaiian that literally spun the former UFC champ around.
Arlovski valiantly fought to his feet, and closed the show with a sensational uppercut and straight right to finally stop Browne in his tracks, and the crowd erupted as the Belarusian celebrated (watch the highlights here).
The fight was savage, wildly exciting, and truly showed off the heart of both men.
And it almost never happened.
That's because Arlovski blew his calf during UFC 187 fight week, and was nearly pulled from the event altogether.
Speaking with Ariel Helwani during the FOX Sports 1 post-fight show, Dana White explained how Arlovski fought through immense pain in order to put on a show for his fans.
From MMA Fighting:
"Two hours before he came out, we didn't think he was going to fight. He popped something in his calf the night before, could barely walk, was limping. The doctors checked him out and I guarantee you, he gritted it out to show the doctors that he could fight. So the doctors said it's up to you, do you want to fight? He said yes.
Then I had people go get him and bring him to my dressing room and said, ‘Do you want to fight? Are you sure you want to take this fight? You don't have to take this fight.' He looked at me and said, ‘Is this seriously why you just called me back here?' I said yeah. He said, ‘I'm fighting,' and he left my dressing room. And then came out and did that."
10 years after Arlovski was crowned UFC champion, "The Pitbull" knocked out the No. 3-ranked heavyweight in the world on a bum leg to push his winning streak to three in a row inside the Octagon.
And he earned a $50,000 bonus check to boot!
Maybe it is time for Arlovski to fight for UFC gold once more.
For complete results from UFC 187: "Johnson vs. Cormier," including play-by-play updates, click here.