Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne had the round of the year on Saturday night and quite possibly the Fight of the Year thus far in 2015. You have to watch these highlights courtesy of Fox Sports.
Entering the fight, Browne was potentially fighting for a title shot. He was the No. 3-ranked contender and the heavyweight with the best win streak of the potential contenders. A win at UFC 187 looked like it could propel him toward a title shot.
On the opposite side of the cage, No. 8-ranked Arlovski was seeking to continue his story of redemption. Once left for dead in this division and thought of as merely a washed-up hack, he is now enjoying a career resurgence.
Arlovski got on the offensive early. He connected with heavy punches and hurt Browne. The Pit Bull did not get wild with his strikes while seeking a finish; he was not going to overexpose himself. Even still, the tempo started to ramp up. Arlovski continued his onslaught.
Then out of nowhere Browne connected. Arlovski buckled.
It looked as if Browne would escape with a come-from-behind victory. Instead, Arlovski survived long enough to get back to his feet and continue firing back at Browne. The Belarusian repeatedly connected, and the punches forced the referee to step in between the heavyweights to signal the end of the fight.
The exciting TKO victory now moves Arlovski into position for a potential title fight. He is enjoying a five-fight win streak that includes three wins in the Octagon. A title fight against the winner of UFC 188’s unification bout would not be unjust.
Making the performance even more spectacular is the fact that the UFC did not even think Arlovski could fight two hours before the event, according to Shaun Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting. Arlovski suffered a calf injury the night before the fight. Dana White told Arlovski he didn’t have to take the fight, and doctors said it was his choice whether to compete.
Arlovski made that walk to the cage to put on a show.
He and Browne deservedly earned $50,000 bonus checks for their Fight of the Night.
This was the fight everyone needed. The start to UFC 187 was lackluster. The main card delivered in a big way, and Arlovski and Browne were a major reason for that. We won’t soon forget their frantic first round, which has lasting impact on the heavyweight division.
The fight will go down as one of the year’s best. Enjoy the highlights of the crazy heavyweight action.