Andrei Arlovski – The Pitbull

Andrei Arlovski was born on February 4, 1979, in Babrusik (today Belarus) and he began weightlifting at 14 since bullies often attacked him. Originally, he started training football, but at the age of 16, he went to Karate and later transferred to other combat sports such as Kickboxing, Sambo, and Judo.

We are sure that he didn’t have any problems with bullies soon after he started training. Later he enroled police academy in Minsk, Arlovski went to required police defense course in Sambo and was immediately noticed as a real talent. He managed to take titles at both European Youth Sambo Championship and the World Youth Championship. The Pitbull was the nickname that he earned soon, and he won silver medals at Sambo World Cup and the World Sambo Championship. As Sambo is grappling based martial art, he decided to explore other so he could further improve striking skills and become a complete fighter.

MMA career for Arlovski started when he was 20, and his first match with Viacheslav Datsik that was held on April 9, 1999, didn’t end well as he lost by KO. Fortunately, this didn’t disappoint him, and he continued to train, and in 2000 he won the heavyweight crown at the European Championship.

UFC debut came at UFC 28 where he managed to defeat Aaron Brink by submission. Arlovski showed great talent and was put up against UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez and Pedro Rizzo that was a heavyweight contender. Unfortunately, he lost both of those duels but managed to bounce back with wins against Ian Freeman and Vladimir Matyushenko.

In 2004, Frank Mir who was a UFC Heavyweight Champion had a motorcycle accident and wasn’t able to compete. Two of the top heavyweight contenders Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski were chosen to fight for an interim champion clash on February 5, 2005. In the end, Arlovski managed to win with an Achilles lock. On June 4, he managed to defend the title with TKO against Justin Eilers.

Since Frank Mir didn’t fully recover from his motorcycle accident, the UFC decided to recognize The Pitbull as the undisputed heavyweight champ. Another successful title defense came against Paul Buentello in October 2005. This didn’t last long as it was time for a rematch with Tim Sylvia on April 15, 2006, when Sylvia managed to win it even Arlovski sent him to the mat first. The long-lasting rivalry between the two fighters culminated in a big battle on UFC 61 held on July 8, 2006, after five rounds when judges unanimously announced Sylvia as a winner.

On December 30, 2006, Arlovski fought against Brazilian Marcio Cruz when the referee mistakenly stopped the match due to Andrei hitting Cruz in the shoulder from the mat, which is legal. This kick was characterized as a kick to the head which was a mistake, and the fight continued on the ground. In the end, Arlovski managed to take the win. Next in line was Fabricio Werdum, a unanimous decision was made, and Arlovski was the winner. On UFC 82 we could see Jake O’Brien TKOed in round two.

After UFC, The Pitbull went to Affliction Entertainment, a new promotion that organized Affliction: Banned on July 19, 2008. During that event, he fought and KO Ben Rothwell. Arlovski was scheduled to fight Josh Barnett but the match was rescheduled and he clashed with Roy Nelson who he beat in round two. One of the biggest duels came in January 2009, when Fedor Emelianenko managed to KO Andrei with a right overhand punch after Arlovski tried to surprise Fedor with a long-range knee jump.

Brett Rogers TKOed Arlovski in the opening round at Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields held on June 6, 2009. After this, he decided to train with Greg Jackson and fought Antonio Silva on May 15, 2010, when he lost by unanimous decision. Bad streak dor Andrei continued when he was knocked out by Sergei Kharitonov in February 2011. At that moment, rumors about his retirement started to circle the internet, but those were dismissed by the man himself.

Arlovski managed to bounce back with a TKO in the third round against Ray Lopez in August 2011. Another win in November clearly showed that he is back in the game as he KO Travis Fulton. The fourth clash with Sylvia came in 2012, but this time it ended in a no-contest after illegal soccer-like kicks to the head by Arlovski.

Devin Cole was his next opponent, and he managed to win this one in the first round. Andrei lost in a controversial match against Anthony Johnson, but later on, replaced him in a fight against Mike Kyle that he won. Two more wins came in duels with Mike Hayes and Andreas Kraniotakes.

In 2014, Arlovski decided to return to UFC where he won a match against Schaub and later on managed to beat down Antonio Silva. When the fight against Travis Browne came on May 23, 2015, The Pitbull was again underdog but took the win with TKO in the first round. The long-awaited duel between Arlovski and Mir was finished with another win for Andrei, interestingly, many people, including Dana White UFC president said that Mir should be the one to win this fight.

After a duel with Mir, losing streak started and lasted for a total of five fights as he lost to Stipe Miocic, Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett, Francis Ngannou and Marcin Tybura. Something needed to be changed, and he started training with American Top Team, and two wins via unanimous decision came against Junior Albini and Stefan Struve. Next in line is the fight with Tai Tuivasa that has been scheduled for June 9th on the UFC 225 show.

Arlovski proved that he is not only good in the ring or octagon as he played in several movies and TV Shows. His Hollywood debut came in Universal Soldier: Regeneration from 2009 where he got the main bad guy role. In this project, he worked with Jean-Claude Van Damme. The second appearance came in Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning that was released in 2012. Andrei also stared in TV Show Limitless and MTV show Bully Beatdown.