Andrei Arlovski and His Lasting Legacy

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Heading into UFC Fight Night 213, Andrei Arlovski is at the doorstep of history in the world’s biggest MMA promotion. 

The original Pitbull of MMA, Arlovski heads into his bout against Marcos Rogerio de Lima being able to claim two UFC records. One being the most UFC bouts (40) and wins (24). Ironically, both records are currently held by Jim Miller but Arlovski, barring something unfortunate, will at least be giving him company in the bouts department. 

Looking at the bigger picture though, without the records, Arlovski has already solidified his legacy in the sport of MMA. 

It’s not often that fighters leave the UFC, find success and failure, and make their way back and carve out a meaningful return. Not only has Andrei Arlovski done just that but he has given some memorable moments along the way. 

A Future President, Knockout Loss Streak, and a World Series 

When Andrei Arlovski left the UFC back in he did so on a three-fight winning streak and a 13-5 record for himself. He would use that momentum to pivot into big paydays with both Elite XC and Affliction. The latter most notably had heavy influence in terms of business from future president Donald Trump. 

From Affliction alone he collected a whopping $3 million dollars in two bouts, one being a win against Ben Rothwell and one highlight reel loss to Fedor Emelianenko. The loss has been played anytime someone brings up The Last Emperor but somehow that loss never defined Arlovski. Neither did the four-fight losing streak that knockout would start, instead it proved to be the ultimate fork in the road for any mixed martial artist.

He would choose the path less traveled which was to grind out what you can see what happens. What would happen is he would go undefeated in his next five bouts before signing with a new upstart promotion known as the World Series of Fighting. 

After going 4-1 in his next five bouts a familiar face seemed ready for a reunion.

The Pitbull Comes Home 

After six years and 14 bouts, Andrei Arlovski came back to the UFC. He would return against Brendan Schaub at UFC 174 but it wouldn’t be the grandest return but instead be a bout that many consider one of the worst in UFC history. Neither man felt the need to pull the trigger that night and maybe that is why his next couple of bouts during his second stint was something completely different.


He would have one of the best fights in UFC history with Travis Browne as apart of a three-fight win streak that saw him even earn a number one contender’s bout with Stipe Miocic. While he wouldn’t win that bout it was the fact that at 37 he nearly reached the mountain top of his sport again. Even better, the loss to Miocic would start another rough streak of bouts over three years that saw him go 2-8 (1 NC) and be on the verge of becoming another tragic story in the sports history. 

What was better in all of this was that he would change camps, reinvent himself and has now made himself one of the more consistent heavyweights in the sport. In the last two years alone he has lost just once while winning six bouts. To do that after a second low point run in a sport as unforgiving as MMA speaks to the type of resolve and character Arlovski possesses.

What is His Legacy?

Andrei Arlovski’s legacy will be more than his record or achievements he earns in the sport. His legacy is that of someone who was bucked off his horse, kicked on the way down, and then trampled on and he responded by dusting himself off and putting his mouthguard back in. 

No one in the sport’s history has come back from not one rough stretch but two of them and be able to have meaningful fights into his mid-40’s. On saturday, regardless of the outcome, he will be seen as a steadfast face in a sport that doesn’t retain many people the right way. Not only has Arlovski achieved everlasting achievement in the sport of MMA, he has made himself to be an example for fighters of generations to come in how to handle adversity the right way.

The sport of MMA may never be able to properly thank Andrei Arlovski for his contributions but that doesn’t mean it is absent from the minds of those who watched him.

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