Childhood & Early Life
Andrei Arlovski was born on 4 February 1979, in Babruisk, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (present day Belarus).
As a young child he was bullied and this experience encouraged him to pursue martial arts in order to deal with bullying. He started training himself with weight lifting at the age of 14.
Despite his initial interest in pursuing soccer, he went on to train in karate when he was 16 years old. He also developed interest in combat sports like kickboxing, judo and sambo.
In order to further nurture his interest in martial arts along with his passion for law enforcement, he enrolled at the Police Academy in Minsk. He later graduated from the academy.
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In 1999, at the age of 20, Andrei Arlovski began his career in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) at the Mix Fight M-1 in St Petersburg, Russia but lost in his debut match in a knockout to Viacheslav Dastik. Not the one to be deterred easily, he made a comeback in 2000 at the European Championships and took the heavyweight crown.
In 2000, he made his debut at the ‘Ultimate Fight Championships’ with UFC 28. He lost in his early fights but later on defeated some prominent players, such as Ian Freeman and Vladimir Matyushenko. Victories against them propelled him into the UFC elite group.
In 2004, an accident that injured UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir led to the introduction of an interim heavyweight title. Andrei Arlovski went on to win the title and become the new UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion. He went on to defend this title in 2005 while fighting against Justin Eilers and Paul Buentello.
In 2006, in the rubber match that was fought between Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia at UFC 61, both players sustained major injuries. Though either fighter could not defeat through knockout, the unanimous decision of referees was in favour of Tim Sylvia.
His next MMA appearance was in December 2006 against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Márcio Cruz and he defeated Criz.
In 2007, he fought Fabrício Werdum at UFC 70 and won by unanimous decision. He went on a break later that year and made a comeback in 2008 and fought against Jake O’brien in UFC 82. He won by Total Knock Out in Round 2. He left the UFC with a record of 10-4.
He later joined the MMA promotion venture Affliction and took part in their debut event ‘Affliction: Banned’ in 2008. He fought against heavyweight fighter Ben Rothwell and won by knockout, thereby ending Rothwell’s 13 fight winning streak.
In 2008, as part of Affliction’s pay per view – ‘Affliction: Day of Reckoning’, he faced heavyweight champion Roy Nelson at EliteXC: Heat. He went on to win the match.
In 2009, Andrei Arlovski faced champion Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction: Day of Reckoning. Though he seemed well prepared, he was defeated by knock out. The same year he began training under MMA coach Greg Jackson.
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During this period he was signed into the MMA and kickboxing organization Strikeforce. However, the matches that he played between 2009 and 2011 were affected his career due to repeated losses.
By 2011 he had four consecutive match losses, however despite external pressure he was determined to rebuild his career. He continued to undertake rigorous training under Coach Greg Jackson.
In August 2011, he made a comeback at the ProElite1 event where he fought against veteran Ray Lopez and won. In November that year he faced Travis Fulton at the ProElite2 fighting event and won the match through a head kick knock out.
In 2012, he signed a deal with Asia based promotion organization – ONE Fighting Championship. In the same year, he faced Tim Sylvia in Manila. The match ended in a no contest as Arlovski had delivered an illegal soccer kick. This prompted the referee to stop the fight.
Between 2012 and 2013 he played matches at the World Series of Fighting Event. He faced fighters like Devin Cole, Anthony Johnson and Mike Kyle as part of the matches in this event.
In 2012, in an independent match Andrei Arlovski faced veteran fighter Mike Hayes at the Fight Nights: Battle of Moscow 9 and won the match. In 2013 he fought against Andreas Kraniotakes at Fight Nights - Battle in Minsk and once again emerged victorious.
In 2014, new reports confirmed that Andrei Arlovski had been released from the World Series of Fighting and that he would be returning to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Between 2014 and 2017, he has fought against veterans like Brendan Schaub, Antônio Silva, Travis Browne, Frank Mir, Stipe Miocic, Alistair Overeem and Josh Barnett to name a few.
In 2017, he played a match against Francis Ngannou at the UFC match on Fox 23. He lost the match via Total Knock Out. In June 2017 he faced Marcin Tybura at the UFC Fight Night 111, and lost the fight via unanimous decision.