(* Sylvia’s physique subject to change.)
Well, it had to happen sooner or later. News broke this morning that heavyweight arch-rivals Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia — who previously faced each other in three UFC title fights in 2005-2006, with Sylvia winning the last two — will fight for the fourth time at ONE FC: Pride of a Nation, August 31st in Manila. Arlovski was originally slated to fight Australian bruiser Soa “The Hulk” Palelei at the event, but as Palelei tweeted to us earlier today, ONE FC wouldn’t let him fight unless he signed a five-fight contract. And as everybody knows, a Hulk needs his freedom.
Though both the Pitbull and the Maine-iac endured their share of setbacks during their post-UFC careers, both men are currently riding win streaks. Arlovski scored back-to-back knockouts of Ray Lopez and Travis Fulton while competing in ProElite last year, while Sylvia has won his last three bouts, most recently a 12-second TKO of Randy Smith. And while you might see this match as a relatively meaningless nostalgia fight, for Arlovski it’s still very, very real. As he said earlier this year:
“I would love to fight pee-pee taste…I beat him once and he beat me twice and it’s personal. He’s the only person in the word I really want to fight; really, really fight, it’d be a nasty fight. I don’t want to talk about what would happen in the fight, he’s a piece of shit and I’d just try to kick his blah blah blah.”
Will Arlovski even the score? Will Timmy take another step toward the UFC comeback that continues to elude him? Let us know what you think in the comments section, and re-watch their first two fights after the jump…
(Arlovski def. Sylvia via achilles lock, 0:47 of round 1, at UFC 51, 2/5/05.)
(Sylvia def. Arlovski via TKO, 2:43 of round 1, at UFC 59, 4/15/06.)