Andrei Arlovski sports 11 first-round finishes on his resume. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Andrei Arlovski has become the showpiece for the fledgling World Series of Fighting outfit.
The former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight titleholder will headline his third WSOF show when he collides with the American Kickboxing Academy’s Mike Kyle in the World Series of Fighting 5 main event on Saturday at the Revel Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. The main draw airs live on NBC Sports at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, while the prelims stream free to Sherdog.com at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.
Arlovski has won two of his past three bouts. The 34-year-old Belarusian last appeared at WSOF 2 in March, when he wound up on the wrong side of a unanimous decision against Anthony Johnson. Ironically, he will replace “Rumble,” Kyle’s original opponent before an injury forced his withdrawal. Based at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts in Albuquerque, N.M., Arlovski owns wins over former International Fight League champion Vladimir Matyushenko, two-time UFC heavyweight titleholder Tim Sylvia, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 winner Roy Nelson and two-time Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist Fabricio Werdum.
Kyle has not recorded back-to-back victories in nearly three years. The 33-year-old Boise, Idaho, native last fought at a Championship Fighting Alliance event in May, when he needed all of 21 seconds to knock out Travis Wiuff at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Fla. A potent striker, Kyle has put away 13 foes by knockout or technical knockout.
With the Arlovski-Kyle main event as the focus, here are 10 facts surrounding the World Series of Fighting 5:
FACT 1: Arlovski is one of 13 men to have held the undisputed UFC heavyweight crown, along with Mark Coleman, Maurice Smith, Randy Couture, Bas Rutten, Kevin Randleman, Josh Barnett, Ricco Rodriguez, Tim Sylvia, Frank Mir, Brock Lesnar, Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez.
FACT 2: Kyle has never lost a fight that went the distance, having compiled a 4-0-1 mark in bouts reaching the judges.
FACT 3: Maximum Fighting Championship middleweight titleholder Elvis Mutapcic has stopped eight opponents inside one round, three of them in less than a minute.
FACT 4: Eight of Team Quest export Jesse Taylor’s nine career defeats have come by submission -- two armbars (Jesse Forbes and Gael Grimaud), a kneebar (Mamed Khalidov), a heel hook (Hector Lombard), a triangle armbar (Thales Leites), a rear-naked choke (Luke Rockhold), a Peruvian necktie (C.B. Dollaway) and a triangle choke (Kenny Ento).
FACT 5: A silver medalist at the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships in 2007, Rolles Gracie Jr. is the grandson of Carlos Gracie, one of the founders of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
FACT 6: Blackzilians representative Danillo Villerfort has fought for 16 different promotions in his 18-fight career: World Series of Fighting, Strikeforce, Shark Fights, Bitetti Combat, C3 Fights, the UFC, World Extreme Cagefighting, the IFL, Pacific Xtreme Combat, World Fighting Championships, Harmful Intent Promotions, Absolute Fighting Championships, Gold Fighters Championship, Jungle Fight, Minotauro Fights and Conquista Fights.
FACT 7: Waylon Lowe as a three-time NCAA wrestling champion at the University of Findlay, a Div. II institution in Findlay, Ohio. He still ranks fifth on the school’s all-time list in career wins with 112 and second in career takedowns with 321.
FACT 8: Team Tiger Schulmann bantamweight Jimmie Rivera has held titles in the King of the Cage and Ring of Combat organizations.
FACT 9: Cage Fury Fighting Championships veteran Artur Rofi will enter his promotional debut with a perfect 6-0 record. However, the five men he has defeated own a combined mark of 25-25.
FACT 10: Roufusport’s Rick Glenn trains out of the same Milwaukee camp that spawned reigning UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.