Former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski returns to UFC

The Pitbull is back in the UFC! 

Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

It’s been over six years since former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski last stepped foot in the Octagon, but he will now return after signing a new multi-fight contract with the UFC on Thursday.

UFC president Dana White first announced the deal on Thursday via Twitter with additional confirmation about the signing coming from UFC officials to FOX Sports.

Arlovski (21-10, 1 NC) returns to the UFC after competing in several different promotions since leaving in 2008. The Belarus native has gone 6-1 with one no contest in his last eight fights with the loss coming to current UFC light heavyweight Anthony Johnson.

There was a time not long ago where Arlovski appeared on the brink of retirement following a streak of four consecutive losses with three of them coming by way of knockout or TKO. Arlovski persevered through the bad streak and battled back to rebuild his career and now he will have the chance to once again compete in the UFC heavyweight division.

Arlovski stood as UFC heavyweight champion for three fights before losing the belt to Tim Sylvia in 2006. At the time, Arlovski was considered one of the best heavyweights that had ever competed inside the Octagon.

Now he returns to a much different heavyweight division, but Arlovski will certainly be welcomed back with open arms after all these years away.

There’s been no confirmation yet on how soon Arlovski could compete, although his last fight took place in November 2013, so chances are he could be booked to fight at any time.