Sunday, May 13, 2007

Arlovski Not Next is citing a Chicago tribune article in which Dana White is quoted as saying Andrei Arlovski will not be the next challenger for the heavyweight title after Gabriel Gonzaga. Although White hinted that Andrei would be next before the Werdum fight, the lackluster action in Manchester apparently put off Andrei's title hopes for a while.

Like UFCMania, I have to agree that putting on exciting fights is a legitimate criteria for advancing fighters. As much as I like Andrei both personally and as a fan, the fight was not very good after the first round.

I don't ascribe Andrei's lack of aggressiveness as much to fear of being KOd (like many Sherdoggers) as a justified fear of going to the ground with Werdum. Fortunately, Werdum didn't seem to be doing much to take the fight there. While he may have been confused by Werdum's strategy, Andrei certainly should have stepped it up in round 3 and looked for the KO.

Of course, we should put even more blame on Werdum - did he think he was going to knock Andrei out with that bitch slap?

Despite having to wait at least one more fight for a shot, I think Andrei did the right thing. A win is a win, and he'll get a shot eventually - there are only so many top heavyweights. I think the best matchup for him now may be Crocop.

Of course, nobody has been talking about the real reason Dana White can postpone Andrei's title shot - Nogueira. You might say you make fights with the fighters you have (thank you, Donald Rumsfeld), and until now, Dana only had so many legit heavyweights, particularly after Crocop was left in a heap by a jiujitsu man. My hunch is that Dana is itching to make Nogeuira the next UFC champ, and then set him up for a string of fights with Arlovski, Cropcop, etc, before finally bringin in Fedor - because after all, who can Fedor fight in Pride these days?

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