This weekend Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos are poised to put on that rarest of things, a UFC Heavyweight title fight trilogy. It has only happened once previously, between Tim Sylvia, a Pat Miletich fighter, and Andrei Arlovski, an accomplished Sambo fighter.
In the early-to-mid 2000's, Sylvia was one of the best Heavyweights working in the United States. In 2002 Sylvia won two Heavyweight tournaments in local American promotions. In 2003, he won the UFC title by knocking out Ricco Rodriguez, defended his title once, and then was arm barred by Frank Mir, losing the title.
Andrei Arlovski had been in the UFC since 2000; he got off to a rough 1-2 start, but then ran off six straight wins. So when Frank Mir's motorcycle accident forced the UFC to match Arlovski against Sylvia for the Interim Heavyweight title.
Arlovski beat Sylvia by following up a knockdown with a straight ankle lock. Arlovski would defend twice, and during that time Mir would be stripped of the title and Arlovski would be awarded the official title. In just under a year after their first match, Sylvia and Arlovski rematched for the UFC title, which is featured above.
Sylvia won the match by TKO, and an immediate rematch was scheduled at the request of Sylvia. Again the American would best Arlovski, ending their third match in less than two years, all the matches taking place between 2005-2006. Their trilogy ended in the same year that the Heavyweight division would see two of its future stars make their pro debuts in both Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos.
So enjoy the quick, but fun match that was Sylvia/Arlovski 2.
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