The last time Andrei Arlovski fought under the UFC banner was on March 1st, 2008. He finished Jake O'Brien on the prelims of UFC 82, and he left the promotion after his contract had expired. Tonight, Dana White tweeted out news that Arlovski is once again a UFC fighter:
Welcome back Andrei Arlovski!— Dana White (@danawhite) April 24, 2014
You are reading that correctly. It is 2014 and Andrei Arlovski is a UFC heavyweight. Arlovski was previously with World Series of Fighting, where he went 2-1 in the organization, but according to MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani he was released by WSOF with one fight left on his contract:
According to World Series of Fighting executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz, Arlovski's contract recently expired, however, he did have one fight left on it. WSOF had the option to extend the contract because Arlovski had to pull out of the last fight due to an injury, but they chose to release him from the deal after he asked to re-sign with the UFC.
"Arlovski brought attention to us when we needed it," Abdel-Aziz said. "At this point, I wish him the best of luck back in the UFC."
At first you might scoff at the idea of Arlovski's (21-10, 1 NC) UFC return ... but he's 6-1, 1 NC in his last 8, and his sole defeat was to Anthony Johnson by unanimous decision. The low point of Arlovski's career was a series of KO losses in Affliction and Strikeforce, most notably his impromptu mid-air travel against Fedor Emelianenko. Arlovski was the interim (and later undisputed) HW champion in 2005 before losing his title to Tim Sylvia in 2006.
UFC 174 is scheduled for June 14th and is headlined by a flyweight title fight between champion Demetrious Johnson and Ali Bagautinov.