This whole COVID-19 ordeal has given us all some extra time to reflect on ourselves and our pasts. It has also given former heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz time to dig deep into the vault and unveil a lost sparring session with former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski.
It seems like an odd pairing, but Ruiz actually locked horns with Arlovski back when he was just 16 years old. Nobody knew Ruiz would go on to become world champion, but maybe “Pitbull” played a role in making that happen.
The sparring footage — provided by Ruiz via Twitter — can be seen below. It features about a minute of action and also a moment in which “Destroyer” knocks Arlovski down to one knee.
I was 16 years old when I had the honor to spar with UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski . Super tough guy lived up to his name The Pitbull. I did manage to give him some trouble tho. Thanks champ! pic.twitter.com/BMCLJNTCaG— AndyRuizjr (@Andy_destroyer1) March 19, 2020
“I was 16 years old when I had the honor to spar with UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski,” wrote Ruiz. “Super tough guy lived up to his name The Pitbull. I did manage to give him some trouble tho. Thanks champ!”
Ruiz, 30, rose to stardom last year when he pulled off a monstrous upset knockout over WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (full fight replay HERE). The incredible victory put Ruiz on the map and set up a massive rematch with Joshua that unfolded this past December. Ruiz ended up losing via unanimous decision, but his legacy has already been written.
As for Arlovski, the former UFC heavyweight champion is still competing in the world’s premier MMA organization. The 41-year-old veteran has only managed to produce a 3-9 (1 NC) record inside of the Octagon since the start of 2016, but Arlovski remains a major player in the UFC’s heavyweight division. Even if he’s not fighting for another world title “Pitbull” still matches up well against rising talent and serves as a true divisional measuring stick.
Arlovski has yet to respond to the above sparring session, but maybe he’s in possession of extended footage that features him knocking Ruiz down.