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ARLOVSKI HEADED TO THE K1 RING

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Andrei Arlovski has not enjoyed much success recently in the MMA cage or the boxing ring. Now the Chicago resident is headed to Seoul, Korea for the K1 2010 Grand Prix.


The reaction to the news in the MMA blogosphere and message boards is full of doubt.  The main question:  Why foray into kickboxing when he’s been outstruck in his recent MMA fights?

It’s a legitimate question considering many fans have tagged Andrei with a glass jaw label, and boxing career is nearly non-existent.  In fact his best performances of late have come against out of shape novices on MTV’s “Bully Beatdown,” hardly inspiring considering he’s a former UFC heavyweight champion.

However there are two reasons why this could be a move that gets the FLO MMA instructor/fighter his fighting mojo back.  First, despite being a newcomer he is one of the more well known and popular combatants in the field of 16 in Korea.  Plus K1 superstars Badr Hari and Remy Bonjasky will not partake in this event, giving him an even brighter star.   Provided he advances to the Elite 8, Arlovski would for sure be one of the bigger names in contention.  In fact he finished third in the fan poll on the promotion’s website despite never fighting K1 before.

Second, the talk /potential of a match up with fellow Strikeforce heavyweight Alister Overeem would be one of the San Jose based promotion’s most intriguing and sellable fights.  Arlovski’s name in MMA circles would carry weight once again.  People have short memories and it doesn’t take much to make fans forget the stumbles of the past.   Highlights of an Arlovski win over first round opponent Raul Catinas would give us something else to look at besides the Fedor KO and Rogers KO.

From what I am reading from those familiar with Catinas, Arlovski has more than a legitimate shot at beating the Romanian and advancing.

Of course the Andrei can really hurt his image if he looks bad in the K1 ring.  Losing can’t be a major strike against the native Belarusian since this will be his debut.  But if he gets knocked out then it will be another reason to suspect his best days are behind him and perhaps he should leave fighting in general and retire.  He hasn’t had a high profile boxing match yet, and his losses in MMA and K1 would decrease any interest the fans have in seeing him take on the sweet science.

Arlovski surely has the size and athleticism to be competitive, it will be interesting to see if he can make good things happen in the K1 ring for himself.  The best part, we can see how he fares when it comes time to ring the bell.  Here in Chicago you can catch Andrei and the K1 2010 Grand Prix on HDNet.  The live broadcast is scheduled for late Friday night/early Saturday morning on October 2 at 1am central time.

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