Last night in Moline, Illinois at the iWireless Center, former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski attempted to get his career back on track by taking on MMA heavyweight journeyman Travis Fulton. The video here shows Arlovski putting Fulton to sleep in rather spectacular fashion. The catch? It didn't take place until 4:59 of round three. There was literally one second left in the final moments of the bout before Arlovski managed to put Fulton away.
Arlovski says he's on a quest to prove everyone wrong who suggest he should retire. I've been one of those people, although not out of disregard for Arlovski's ability or accomplishment. My point has been Arlovski's likely already peaked in terms of accomplishment. His mind may tell him quitting is not an option, but his body and performances seem to be telling a different story.
I could very well be mistaken. Perhaps there's more meaningful accomplishments left for 'Pitbull'. But Fulton is a fighter who Arlovski should've dispatched with rather handily in the first round, not catch lightning in a bottle against in the third. Moreover, the tentativeness Arlovski continuously exhibits is indicative of psychological toll the fantastic losses - exquisitely brutal losses of extinguished consciousness - have taken on the heavyweight. Perhaps putting away the likes of Fulton will help Arlovski undo the aforementioned damage, but I'm not convinced he's doing more than delaying the inevitable.
Losing to Kharitonov is nothing to be ashamed of. And Arlovski is undefeated in ProElite. But what happens when the likes of Fulton or Ray Lopez start handing out reality checks? That isn't something anyone is particularly interested in witnessing.