(“Bow down, bitches!”)
For the first time since “Vendetta” in November 2002, Andrei Arlovski has been booked on the undercard of a UFC event. His fight against Jake “O’Boring” O’Brien at UFC 82 (March 1st; Columbus, OH) did not make the cut for the live main card, and could potentially go untelevised.
Arlovski’s UFC contract expires April 15th, and he has chosen not to sign an extension; instead, he will try his luck as a free agent. Obviously, organizations like M-1 Global, EliteXC, and HDNet Fights will be chomping at the bit to get offers in front of him, but the UFC doesn’t want to publicize Arlovski by guaranteeing airtime to his last fight. Petty? Absolutely. Unwise? Totally, especially when you consider that the UFC should be bending over backwards to keep their established stars, which are now trickling out of the Octagon doors one by one. Harmful to their brand’s image? Another yes, as fan loyalty will definitely be with the Pitbull. Once again, the UFC will look like a bunch of assholes.
Here’s what UFC 82′s card now looks like, according to UFC.com:
Anderson Silva vs. Dan Henderson (middleweight championship match)
Heath Herring vs. Cheick Kongo (heavyweights)
Yushin Okami vs. Evan Tanner (middleweights)
Jon Fitch vs. Chris Wilson (welterweights)
David Bielkheden vs. Diego Sanchez (welterweights)
Andrei Arlovski vs. Jake O’Brien (heavyweights)
Luke Cummo vs. Luigi Fioravanti (welterweights)
Dustin Hazelett vs. Josh Koscheck (welterweights)
Jorge Gurgel vs. John Halverson (lightweights)
So Herring and Kongo get penultimate billing, but Arlovski is stuck in the opening act with Jorge Gurgel and Luke Cummo. There’s a kick in the nuts. Oh yeah, Josh Koscheck is getting screwed too, in favor of Diego Sanchez. We’re not sure what Koscheck did to deserve that — with back-to-back losses, Diego’s the one who should be working his way back up from the dark cards.