Andrei Arlovski has his first assignment of the year set.
The former UFC heavyweight champion will share the Octagon with Jared Vanderaa at UFC 271, which takes place on Feb. 12 at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX. Iridium Sports Agency — the management firm of Vanderaa — first announced the fight on social media. It was later confirmed by Arlovski.
Arlovski has gone 4-1 in his past five appearances, with his only loss coming by way of second-round rear-naked choke against Tom Aspinall at UFC Vegas 19 last February. Since then, the ‘Pitbull’ has rebounded with back-to-back unanimous decision wins over Chase Sherman and Carlos Felipe at UFC Vegas 24 and UFC Vegas 40, respectively.
This appearance is No. 37 for him in the promotion, meaning the 42-year-old has moved one step closer to occupying the all-time record of most fights in UFC history. That is currently held by Jim Miller, who recently extended it to 38 after his outing at the aforementioned UFC Vegas 40 fight card.
Vanderaa has alternated between wins and losses since joining the UFC following a successful showing on the 2020 season of Dana White’s Contender Series. The ‘Mountain’ made his promotional debut against Sergey Spivak at UFC Vegas 19, where he was finished by strikes in the second round. Vanderaa followed that with a ‘Fight of the Night’ awarded performance at UFC Vegas 27 opposite of Justin Tafa, who he bested by unanimous decision.
Unfortunately, the former Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC) heavyweight champion was unable to keep his momentum going and was knocked out by Alexandr Romanov in October.
With the edition of Arlovski vs. Vanderaa, 16 fights have now been confirmed for UFC 271. The pay-per-view event is headlined by a middleweight championship rematch between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker.