Fight News

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

UFC 66 - Arlovski Vs Cruz

UFC 66 has a super-exciting main event in Chuck Liddell Vs Tito Ortiz. Most media attention is fixated on this rematch dubbed 'Liddell Vs Ortiz 2'. The undercard however, is just as explosive.

In the heavyweight match-up, former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei “The Pit-Bull” Arlovski (11-5) takes on Brazilian Marcio Cruz (2-1).

Arlovski is still one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC. He lost his UFC title to current champ Tim Sylvia.

The Pit-Bull, originally from Minsk, Belarus, held the title for 14 months. Over that 14 month reign, there was no question that Arlovski was one of the best, if not the best, heavyweight on the planet. He has the right mix of knockout punching power and an excellent ground technique.

It looked like his reign would last as long as he wanted it to. Arlovski looked unbeatable, destroying Justin Eilers and wiping out Paul Buentello in a mere 15 seconds.

But on April 15th, in UFC 59, Arlovski got a reality check in the form of Tim Sylvia, who Arlovski had previously beaten in a one round submission back in May 2005. It was almost a carbon copy opening of their first fight, with Arlovski dropping Sylvia hard with a right hand, Sylvia however, got up, and busted Arlovski with an uppercut to the jaw. Arlovski dropped to the canvas, and with that, he was an ex-champion. Tim the ‘The Maine-iac’ Sylvia had beaten him.

This shook up the heavyweight division, and some thought that Sylvia had scored a lucky win against the seemingly unbeatable Arlovski. A rematch was lined up in UFC 61, dubbed "Bitter Rivals" in July 2006.

But Arlovski lost again to Sylvia, this time by unanimous decision. It seemed that the one-time unbeatable ‘Pitbull’ had lost his bite.

Arlovski has got time to comeback and regain his title; at just 27 years old, he’s still relatively young. A couple of quality wins should put him back in the title picture sooner rather than later.

So this is the start of his comeback, and first up is Brazil’s Marcio Cruz. Cruz is no walkover, as shown by his stoppage of Frank Mir in February.

Saturday night, December 30, UFC 66 Arlovski is going to show the world that he is back; tougher and better than ever.


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