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Report: Andrei Arlovski to fight at UFC 82

Andrei Arlovski is scheduled to fight the final bout on his current UFC contract on March 1 in Columbus, Ohio during UFC 82, reports Roman Modrowski of the Chicago Sun-Times.

The UFC has not officially announced Arlovski’s involved with the card, but the report seems legitimate. Arlovski is due to become a free agent in April and the UFC needs to offer him a bout before the expiration of that contract, or otherwise risk having the contract expire without the ability to schedule him for the one remaining fight.

Unless he signs a new contract, Arlovski will become a free agent in April. It is unknown whether the UFC retains an exclusive negotiation period or if they have a right of first refusal. Even if Arlovski is a restricted free agent, the former UFC heavyweight champion is expected to draw considerable interest on the open market.

The article did not name a specific opponent for Arlovski but several names have been rumored in recent weeks, including Jake O’Brien. O’Brien’s involvement has only been rumored and an attempt to reach his representative was not successful. It’s unknown whether O’Brien will be healthy in time for March and other names have been rumored as well.

It is also believed that the UFC has tried to schedule Arlovski for matches on two previous occasions but that bout agreements with his potential opponents could not be formalized. It remains to be seen whether Arlovski will be offered a fight against a big name opponent because the UFC may not want to run the risk of having him beat a core member of its heavyweight division and then walk away from the promotion.

Click for UPDATED UFC 82 fight card.

While Arlovski’s involvement in UFC 82 is not yet official, the promotion announced late last year that a unification match between UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva vs. PRIDE welterweight champion Dan Henderson will headline the card. Additional bouts between Jon Fitch vs. Akihiro Gono, Cheick Kongo vs. Heath Herring, Josh Koscheck vs. Dustin Hazelett, Jorge Gurgel vs. John Halverson, and Luke Cummo vs. Luigi Fioravanti are rumored as well.

  • Derek B. says:

    Cro-Cop vs Arvloksi

    Just plain and simple

  • SteveXtreme says:

    Derek B. read my mind. It would either be amazing or a borefest given there last few performance’s.
    I personally would like to see Crocop make another good run. Beating Arlovski would put some oomph behind him.

  • Derek B. says:

    I’m with you all the way Steve

    It should be loser walks match…but that sounds a little too WWFish.

    but it would be a great fight to watch considering both are mostly known for their striking.

  • Rashad #1 says:

    If AA doenst sign a new contract before this fight he will be fighting some can like Eddie Sanchez… the UFC cant afford for AA to come into a fight with a big name HW like Cro Cop or a Cheick Kongo and win as he is more then likely going to walk to another Org with higher payouts… if he is signed before hjis fight we could see him fight someone like Cro Cop but the UFC wont risk AA beating one of their bigger names on his last fight which will just skyrocket his stock

  • Derek B. says:

    Rashad but they can afford to put him on a card fighting some low life fighter that isn’t going to draw a big crowd?

    If you asked me I’d rather see him fight a big time person for his last fight with the UFC.

  • Nate says:

    Awesome suggestion “Derek B”, it would be a great boost to Arlovski if he wins, and not that bad if cro-cop loses. Though if he loses I am going to be pissed because I want to see him fight more. I like cro-cop’s style, so I will watch him even if he loses.

  • Derek B. says:

    Cro-Cop is the reason I transitioned into MMA to be honest. A buddy of mine from school showed me a Kickboxing video that he compiled through the internet. If i remember correct I seen Cro-Cop fight Mike Bernardo and after seeing him in that fight I was a fan. I followed him ever since that day.

    He’s a great boxer…but I just wish Cro-Cop would spend more time practicing his ground game.

  • mike wolfe says:

    Has Arlovski earned the right to a “big name” opponent? His last fight with Werdum was really boring. Had it been in Pride, they’d have had the yellow card within the first two minutes. I can’t figure out what’s the problem with him. He hasn’t been the dominant fighter who beat Sylvia for quite a while.

  • Derek B. says:

    Mike he wasn’t ready for a ground fight. He shouldn’t have preyed over Werdum in the fight. He should have kept on letting him get up so he could fight him standing up.

    But during the fight Werdum had a pretty good game plan, but he wasn’t able to do much damage on his feet.

    It was just one of those lackluster fights that happen occasionally.

  • mike wolfe says:

    The fight’s a little hazy for me, but even on his feet Arlovski seemed unwilling to initiate, like he wanted to counter punch. That wasn’t his style earlier. I wondered at the time if he had an injury, but didn’t hear anything about it afterwards. I think he’s a good fighter with lotsa skills, but he needs to get inspired again. If he doesn’t get a quality win next time out, I’ll bet his contract isn’t renewed. Or it gets renewed because the heavyweight division is a little thin right now.

  • BigBad Bradical says:

    A.A. is the 7th ranked what he had one lame bout. Let’s give ’em a break & let him come bk like the old school pitbull he is, he’s learned his lesson & knows what’s expected. . . I would like to see Arlovski vs. Gonzaga, Arlovski vs. Snowman Monson or possibly Tim Sylvia again so he can get retribution. Sorry for the rant. .

  • Moritsan says:

    I know this post was like 2 weeks ago, but I would like to say that Jake O’Brien is “no low life fighter”. He has been due to fight in a couple of recent UFC’s but has been out with an unfortunate shoulder/neck injury.

    Don’t knock him sicne you can’t do it yourself.


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