Andrei Arlovski TKO's Travis Browne in round of the year candidate
Andrei Arlovski's incredible career resurgence continues following a hyperkinetic first-round finish of former teammate Travis Browne at UFC 187.
When Arlovski returned to the UFC it almost seemed like nostalgia for a once-great champion to close out his career in the place he called home for so many years.
But following Arlovski's first-round knockout of former title contender Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva in 2014, it was clear he wasn't back just to make a few new memories.
He was gunning for gold.
That mission continued Saturday night, with one of the wildest rounds in UFC heavyweight history, as Arlovski and Browne engaged in a back and forth war that finally ended with the Belarus native's hand being raised.
Arlovski got right in Browne's face as soon as the fight started and caught the big Hawaiian with a punch that staggered him. Arlovski tried to follow up with a barrage of punches against the cage, but Browne defended well.
Arlovski came forward again with another blitz of punches that seemed to tag Browne, but out of nowhere the 6-foot-7 heavyweight countered with a huge counter shot that almost changed the entire course of the fight. Arlovski dropped to the mat, but got his senses back in a hurry and worked back to the feet.
Arlovski took a breath and then came back at Browne with everything he had in the arsenal. Shot after shot got through Browne's defense and as Arlovski poured it on, the referee realized that the No. 3-ranked Browne wasn't defending himself and he swooped in to stop the carnage before it got worse.
Arlovski leaped on top of the cage as he celebrated his third straight win since returning to the UFC. Now he enters title contention with the win over Browne on Saturday night.
"Of course I'm happy that I beat Travis, I'm happy that I won, but it's a bad feeling," Arlovski said of defeating his former teammate.
"I hope tonight isn't going to affect our friendship," Arlovski added. "I love him like a brother."
It was revealed afterwards that Arlovski pulled a muscle in his leg that nearly caused him to pull out of the fight, but instead he powered through and now appears just a fight or two away from competing for the UFC heavyweight title 10 years after he first won the belt in 2005.