Mike Kyle isn’t looking past Andrei Arlovski. | Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
Mike Kyle has his eyes set on some of the World Series of Fighting’s stiffest competition.
“Mak” was originally supposed to face Anthony Johnson in the WSOF 5 main event, but “Rumble” was forced to withdraw from the contest due to injury. Instead, Kyle will face former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, whom Johnson outpointed this past March at WSOF 2.
Kyle and Arlovski will collide live on NBC Sports Network this Saturday from Revel Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., immediately following Sherdog.com’s free stream of the preliminary card. Though Kyle is fully focused on his clash with “The Pit Bull,” the heavyweight believes that a fight with Johnson is still an intriguing proposition.
“I like that fight, definitely. I don't think there are too many fights I'm not interested in. But yeah, I'd definitely love to fight Anthony Johnson. I'd love to fight Tyrone Spong. I like those guys,” Kyle said during a recent media call. “But as of now, all I'm trying to think about is Arlovski. I don't want to look past him. He's a very tough opponent. He's known to knock people out, and he's coming from a great camp, as well, with Greg Jackson.”
Though Arlovski sustained a broken jaw in his defeat to Johnson, the heavyweight had won four of his previous five fights, with only a controversial no-contest against Tim Sylvia marring his record in that span. Considering Arlovski’s resurgence in the last two years and his 10-4 record during his UFC run, Kyle views his match with Arlovski as a serious opportunity to make a splash in his promotional debut.
“I feel great. I'm coming off a great win,” said Kyle. “ I'm starting to feel comfortable in the ring again, and I'm really excited to go out there and perform and put on the show that I'm capable of doing.”
Though Kyle ended his Strikeforce run with a submission loss to Gegard Mousasi, the American Kickboxing Academy representative returned to the win column in his most recent bout, knocking out fellow veteran Travis Wiuff in just 21 seconds under Florida’s Championship Fighting Alliance banner.
In regard to Arlovski’s noted punching power, Kyle hopes to utilize movement and aggressiveness to neutralize the big Belarusian on fight night.
“I plan on having better footwork, and I plan on hitting him first.”