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Don’t look now, but Ultimate Fighting Championship legend Andrei Arlovski is a few appearances away from the UFC’s all-time record.
On Friday, a heavyweight matchup pitting Arlovski (32-20, 2 NC) against Jared Vanderaa (12-6) was announced by Vanderaa’s management team of Iridium Sports Agency. The two are set to battle it out on the loaded UFC 271 card on Feb. 12, which will take place in the Toyota Center in Houston. The former heavyweight champ confirmed the news of this matchup on his Instagram shortly after it was announced.
Arlovski will be entering into his 37th UFC bout when he takes on Vanderaa, one shy of the record currently held by Jim Miller while tying Donald Cerrone for the second-most in UFC history. “The Pitbull” is far and away the most active heavyweight to ever compete inside the Octagon, and his 37 fights in the division will put him 10 above the next closest name in Frank Mir – the next active name with the highest number of heavyweight battles is Derrick Lewis, who will have his 24th UFC tilt on this card. As a result of his activity, Arlovski holds the most wins (21), the third-most finishes (11), the fifth-most knockouts (nine) and the most decision victories (10) in UFC heavyweight history.
His opponent Vanderaa will be entering into his fourth UFC bout, where he has won once by decision over Justin Tafa. The 2020 Dana White's Contender Series signee punched his ticket to the big leagues with a first-round knockout of Harry Hunsucker, and he went on to make his debut in 2021 only to get knocked out by Sergey Spivak. Although he had the bounce back over Tafa three months later, his last outing came in October when Alexander Romanov stopped him with strikes late into the second frame. “The Mountain” has a finish rate of 83% across a career that began in 2015, over 16 years after Arlovski’s started.
With 16 bouts currently scheduled on the billing, UFC 271 will take place on Feb. 12 in the Toyota Center in Houston. Fans in the building will be treated to a middleweight championship rematch between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker in the main event. The remainder of the billing is currently unclear, but the co-headliner is expected to be Jared Cannonier’s clash with Derek Brunson at 185 pounds. Derrick Lewis will be appearing on this Houston card against Tai Tuivasa at heavyweight, in a rumble that will earn main card placement.