Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski signed a multi-fight, 16-month contract with Strikeforce on Monday, according to sources close to the negotiations.
Arlovski is likely to face one-time EliteXC champion Antonio Silva on May 15 in St. Louis, Mo., in his sophomore effort with the promotion, Sherdog.com has learned. Arlovski appeared on 10 days’ notice for Strikeforce last June as part of a co-promotional effort with Affliction Entertainment. Brett Rogers shocked the 31-year-old Belarusian out of the gate with a 22-second knockout victory.
Arlovski hasn’t competed in MMA since, but boxed a four-round exhibition against former heavyweight contender Fres Oquendo last Saturday in Miami for “The Consequences Charity.”
Arlovski plans to spend a part of his training camp for his next opponent at Greg Jackson’s MMA Academy in Albuquerque, N.M. Arlovski visited the camp and its sister facility, Grudge Training Center, in Denver, last November. The schools are homebase to Rashad Evans, Nate Marquardt, Shane Carwin and others.
Arlovski, who trains boxing under Mike Garcia and Team Pitbull in Chicago, was victorious in his debut for Affliction in July 2008, as he knocked out Ben Rothwell in impressive third-round fashion. The former Sambo champion bolstered his stock with a second-round knockout over former IFL champion Roy Nelson the following October when he was loaned out to EliteXC for a bout that aired on CBS.
The victory, Arlovski’s fifth in a row, set up a showdown with No. 1 ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, who knocked Arlovski out with a blistering right overhand as he rushed in with a dicey flying knee late in the first frame.
Arlovski, went 11-4 in the UFC between 2000-2008. He earned key victories against Vladimir Matyushenko, Tim Sylvia, Paul Buentello, Marcio Cruz, and Fabricio Werdum. His only losses in the Octagon came to Pedro Rizzo, Ricco Rodriguez and Sylvia (twice).
Strikeforce’s next event will air live April 17 on CBS, as middleweight champion Jake Shields defends his title against top-5 ranked challenger Dan Henderson.
Arlovski will hold a live chat discussing his signing on Friday at 8:00 p.m. CST at www.arlovski.com