Last night, Andrei Arlovski took to the cage at World Series of Fighting 5 to take on Mike Kyle. Both men are former Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters, with Arlovski being the former UFC heavyweight champion. In Kyle’s case, he was 20-9-1 (2) in his professional career coming including a 2-1 record inside the Octagon between 2004 and 2005. Despite their combined knockout total being rather high, this fight went the distance and Arlovski picked up the unanimous decision. The question that needs to now be asked is what did the victory prove?
Did the Arlovski victory prove that he is ready to get back to the UFC and compete with the best fighters in the world? The former champion was coming off his first loss since 2011 and was 4-1 (1) in his past six fights. Included in those victories were impressive finishes against Devin Cole, Ray Lopez and Travis Fulton. The lone loss came against Anthony Johnson at WSOF 2 which came via unanimous decision. At 34, the Belarus native wouldn’t be the oldest fighter to make his return to the Octagon, but his return could be compared to that of Tim Sylvia and we all know that isn’t expected to ever happen again.
Since the win won’t get him back to the UFC, did it prove that he has grown in the fight game? It’s hard to imagine someone growing in their 31st fight, but some might argue he did. Instead of being reckless and charging forward, which has been the cause of several knockouts in the past, he was cautious and was selective about when he would attack. Even when he did get struck in his questionable chin, he took it and kept fighting.
So to answer the initial question of what exactly Arlovski’s win at WSOF 5 proved to the MMA world? In one word: nothing. He will never make it back to the promise land of the UFC where the fights are tougher and the money is greater. It was a good win, but not something the UFC would be impressed with.