With rumors swirling that Andrei Arlovski will leave the UFC to sign with Affliction and take on Ben Rothwell in the July event, the big question about “The Pitbull” is in regards to his contract status with the UFC. Monte Cox recently told Cage Potato that he believed Arlovski was clear of that contract on May 1, assuming he doesn’t decide to resign with the UFC. For their part, the UFC seems to want Arlovski back in the Octagon, but Dana White doesn’t exactly sound confident that it will happen.
Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole recently quoted White as saying:
“It’s funny you should ask me that. We were just talking about Arlovski. We want to sign him. It’s our intention to sign him. But I don’t know. We’re, well, I don’t know. We want to. Whether we will or not, I have no idea. We like Andrei and I know the fans like Andrei. I hope we can do something.”
Is it just me, or does that make it seem like Arlovski is already gone and Dana White knows it? It’s like asking your friend how things are going with his girlfriend and he looks at his shoes and says, ‘I don’t know, man. I like her. It’s just…shit, I don’t know.’ Then he drinks a bunch of whiskey and won’t stop talking about how he’d like to move to Alaska and get a little cabin with a wood-burning stove somewhere and just really experience life.
If Arlovski is out of his contract and not yet signed with Affliction, it may be because the UFC is trying to match their offer. Fighter contracts are typically structured in such a way as to give the UFC the rights to do so for at least thirty days, if not more.
With Affliction spending money like rich, crazy t-shirt barons on this first card, the bidding war for Andrei could easily get out of control. Then the UFC has to decide how badly they want to keep one of the last credible heavyweights in their stable, or if they just want to make sure that Affliction has to dig deep into their Scrooge McDuck money vault in order to get him.
Either way, the winner here is likely to be Arlovski, who will emerge with enough riches to return to Belarus and establish himself as a king. Whether that will affect the current system of government enough for anyone to notice is still uncertain.