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Andrei Arlovski - "The Pitbull"

Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski was born on February 4, 1979 in Minsk, Belarus. As a Belarusian mixed martial arts fighter, he holds several notable wins over fighters such as Paul Buentello, Fabrico Werdum, Vladimir Matyushenko and Tim Sylvia.

Arlovski grew up in Minsk and became well known for his Sambo skills. As a youngster, bullies picked on Arlovski frequently and beat him up. When he was 14 years old, he had enough and began lifting weights in order to put on muscle to help him deal with the bullies. Four years later he took up martial arts; which would later lead to a professional interest in combat sports. He enrolled in the police academy in Minsk and went on to combine his interest in law enforcement with his growing passion for martial arts through participation in Sambo; which was a required police defense course. In a short amount of time he proved himself to be highly competent in Sambo. In 1999 he won the European Youth Sambo Championship and the World Youth Championship. Arlovski also brought home a silver medal at the Sambo World Cup and well as one from the World Sambo Championship. As his interest in martial arts grew, he began to study kickboxing in order to compliment his grappling abilities, obtained from his study of Sambo.

When he was just 19; Arlovski began a professional MMA career; debuting at the Mix Fight M-1 in St. Petersburg, Russa in 1999. Unfortunately, he lost by KO to Viacheslav Datsik. Arlovski refused to be deterred and returned the following year at the European Championships to take the heavyweight crown through a submission victory as well as a knock-out victory.

Arlovski debuted at the Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC 28 and defeated Aaron Brink by submission. This forced him into top level competition rather early in his career and as a result he suffered some rather tough losses. Nevertheless, he also scored wins some big wins that propelled him to the top.

After UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir suffered a motorcycle accident in 2004, an interim heavyweight title was created. The two top heavyweight contenders met to declare the interim champion on February 5, 2005. As a result, Arlovski faced the previous heavyweight champion, Tim Sylvia. All the elements were present to create a tense match; with both competitors known for their hard hitting style. Although Sylvia had won eight consecutive matches previously, it quickly became apparent as soon as the match started that Arloski was capable of greater accuracy and mobility during strikes. He dropped Sylvia during the first 47 seconds of the first round.

In August of 2005, it was announced that the UFC considered Arlovski to be the Heavyweight Champion outright. Mir had not been fully recovered from his accident. In October, Arlovski had his first defense of the title and managed to knock out the top contender during the first 15 seconds of the first round; Paul Buentello. A re-match against Tim Sylvia was scheduled for April 15, 2006. Although Arlovski knocked Sylvia down during the first round, Sylvia recovered quickly; knocked him to the mat and followed up with consecutive strikes until the referee stopped the match during the first round.

He and Sylvia met up again in July in a 5 round battle. During the match neither fighter landed any truly significant blows. Sylvia finally won the fight by decision. Later, it became known that Arlovski had become injured at some point during the second period and was subsequently unable to throw any kicks. He went on to fight at PRIDE Fighting Championship and was matched against Fabrico Werdum during UFC 70; which he won by a unanimous decision. During that match both fighters seemed reluctant to move in and the referee was finally forced to announce at the beginning of the third round that he would remove a point from the first fighter who retreated in the round. This was something completely unheard of in the UFC. Arlovski won by unanimous decision; however, the crowd still did not seem pleased.

Arlovski lives and trains in Chicago where he has a relationship with live-in girlfriend, Playboy Cybergirl Patrycia Mikula.

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