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Tim Sylvia/Andrei Arlovski IV: a New Country and a New Chapter for an Old Rivalry

August 31st, 2012 at 5:10 PM
By Phil Clark

One of the main fights on today's One FC card featured the continuation of a feud that at one time dominated the UFC heavyweight championship.

Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia were at one time the UFC's top heavyweights. During the time right before and right at the beginning of the promotion's rise, these were not only their two top heavyweights, but two of their biggest stars. They fought three times with Sylvia winning the final two. All three fights involved the UFC heavyweight championship with the first being for the interim title.

Those fights took place during a period six to seven years ago. A lot has changed in the sport and in the promotion those fights took place in since then. Today, the two met for a fourth time. Unlike the three previous bouts between them, this fight didn't have a completely conclusive result, meaning a fifth could be on the way.

Late in the second round of today's fight, Arlovski was moments away from fully gaining revenge on the man he refers to as a “dickface.” Arlovski caught Sylvia with two big rights during a standing exchange, sending Sylvia to the canvas. From there, Arlovski unleashed a couple of soccer kicks to Sylvia's head—legal by One FC rules.

The catch? The fighter throwing the kicks needs the referee's okay to unleash the soccer kicks. As weird as that sounds, because Arlovski didn't specifically get the okay at the moment of the knockdown and unleashed a few kicks to Sylvia's head, the damage inflicted was basically treated as an injury received by Sylvia and Arlovski got a yellow card for the infraction. Sylvia got five minutes to rest and then potentially continue. After the five minutes, Sylvia was quoted as seeing “two of the ref” and the fight was declared a no contest when it was clear Sylvia wasn't going to be able to continue.

Needless to say, this would be a bizarre end to what was otherwise a noteworthy feud in the history of UFC. And it very well could be the end. Even though a rematch seems probable, who's to say that it will happen? Arlovski was out for revenge and even though he was given a yellow card and the fight was declared a no-contest, he had Sylvia basically dead to rights when the rule technicality prevented him from gaining the win. He seemed to have gotten his revenge. And he may be satisfied with that.

If not, these two will meet again.

Tags: Andrei Arlovski, MMA, One FC, Tim Sylvia, UFC

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