How I Accurately Predicted Andrei Arlovski Versus Fabricio Werdum
In my Post-Fight Awards for UFC 188 I accurately predicted that Andrei “The Pit Bull” Arlovski would get the next title shot against Fabricio “Vai Calvalo” Werdum. I then read many pieces including one by our main man Dave Reno looking at who would get the first chance at Werdum. Each of the different articles all applied logic and went by who deserved the next chance at the heavyweight title.
The problem with that approach is this is the UFC we are talking about, and like one of my favorite quotes from Unforgiven; “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.”
Often times a champion like Cain Velasquez will get an immediate rematch, but not in this case. It was a pretty brutal loss and a rematch would gain more interest with each fighter picking up a win or two against some other contenders than if it were to happen right now.
Like blind mice in a maze
There is no clear path to title shots in the UFC and the rankings are a joke and the UFC wants it that way. I know they do not do the rankings but they choose the people who get to do them. It is clear that many of these people are incompetent as often times inactive fighters will move up and down for no reason at all.
This allows the UFC to ignore the rankings when they decide who gets a title shot. If there were a hardcore and true ranking system that lead to a clear path to the title it would remove a lot of the drama and debate. However, that is not good for the UFC as all of that drama and debate especially in social media circles keeps the UFC trending on a daily basis.
Asses in the seats and PPV buys
Instead of going to the fighter who most deserves the chance it goes to the fighter that Big Bald Daddy Dana White thinks will sell the best. He essentially makes the fight that he thinks the fans want to see. Which makes sense as he is trying to sell PPV’s with these fights.
There are times when it is clear who deserves the next shot. The most recent example of that was Anthony “Rumble” Johnson who clearly warranted a title shot. It was also the fight the fans wanted to see. In that case it was easy for the UFC to book his fight with Jon Jones.
It is a foggy situation at best
There are those times though, when there is no clear title contender and the heavyweight division is in just that exact situation. The one fighter that would most likely get the shot if healthy is Junior Dos Santos but as he said on the MMA Hour he is out until the end of the year.
JDS holds a devastating KO win over Werdum. It was the loss that got Werdum bounced out of the UFC back in 2008. This rematch will likely happen sometime in 2016.
After Cain Velasquez’ long layoff the UFC and BBD Dana want Werdum back in the octagon as soon as possible.
After JDS the fighter that deserves the shot is Stipe Miocic but loses out to Arlovski based on per popularity. Look, I love Miocic, anybody who follows him on Twitter knows that he is one of the more engaging and funny fighters.
However, he does not have the name that Arlovski does at this time. Part of that is on the UFC as they have struggled to develop their own stars from within. Sure, drop a Conor McGregor or a Ronda Rousey in their laps and they will not mess it up too bad.
Where they have shown little aptitude is how to build up someone like a Miocic. This guy is such an easy sell but yet the UFC does so little with him. Not only does he have an engaging personality but he also is a Fireman in his day job. A person who actually saves people’s lives.
I guarantee if he were in the WWE he would be a star by now. Instead, the UFC essentially waits for the masses to finally discover a fighter and then they spend a lot of time and money promoting them.
He is Old School. He is New School. He is ‘The Pit Bull’
When it comes to name recognition Arlovski has a lot of it. He is an old school champion. who last held the UFC title in 2005. For all of his amazing wins in his career it is two losses that got him a lot of attention.
Back in 2009 Arlovski got of to a great start against Fedor. He had the legendary one in trouble but attempted an ill-timed flying knee that resulted in another Fedor highlight-reel win. This started Arlovski on a four fight losing streak.
After bouncing back by going 4-0-1 Arlovski dropped a UD to Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at WSOF 2. In that fight Johnson broke Arlovski’s jaw in the first round but he still went the distance. Only Arlovski could shatter the myth of his glass jaw by breaking it in a fight.
Two more wins later and “The Pit Bull” was back in the UFC. After a lackluster return against Brendan Schaub which Arlovski won via SD. He went out and KO’d Antonio Silva in the first round. Most recently Arlovski impressively defeated Travis Browne by a first round TKO.
The last two wins lit up Twitter and confirmed that Arlovski was still one of the UFC’s most popular fighters.
It was easy to see BBD Dana’s thinking on this one. This fight just sells itself and will draw in the casual fans who remember Arlovski from his first run in the UFC. He was one of the faces for the UFC for a moment during the early Zuffa days. This fight also gives them the easy sell of the revenge angle since Arlovski holds a win over Werdum.
What to do with Stipe and Cain
For me the next fight for Cain is a simple one. Big Ben Rothwell wanted him. I say give him what he wishes for in a shot at Cain. It is the perfect bounce back for Cain in a fighter who poses few threats but will still make it a fight while it lasts. We also get to find out if Rothwell is a true contender or down in that next tier.
As for Stipe I think a fight with Travis Browne makes a lot of sense for both of them. It is a great matchup one that either fighter can win. It would also make for a fun and exciting fight for the fans.
They all have fought around the same time recently, so I say put the two fights on the same card with the two winners squaring off.
Now, normally I would be hesitant to matchup to two title contenders in such a shallow division, but as long as Werdum holds the belt than it is easy to pair him with JDS and Alistair Overeem. Both who hold wins over Werdum.
Now, if Arlovski wins, then we have a whole new world to deal with at heavyweight.
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