This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 19, former heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski (30-20, 2 NC), was tasked with taking on Tom Aspinall (10-2). Aspinall is being looked at as one of the best prospects in the UFC‘s heavyweight division.
The 42 year old former champion is no stranger to taking on top prospects. Just in 2020 alone, Arlovski took on Tanner Boser and Philipe Lins. Both of these guys were looked at as hyped contenders in the UFC‘s heavyweight division.
However, the former champion defeated both of them in 2020. Arlovski was going to be a big test to see just where Aspinall was in his progression. As it turns out, Aspinall was very much up to the challenge.
In the first round, Arlovski was hurt on the feet by Aspinall. Aspinall rushed in to try to finish, but the former UFC champion stayed composed. Arlovski was able to survive the first round onslaught from Aspinall.
In the second round, Arlovski actually landed some decent shots. However, Aspinall showed off his grappling ability with a swift takedown that he chained into a rear-naked choke. Arlovski was forced to tap and his UFC winning streak came to a close.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 19?
Despite no longer being a top contender and being 42 years old, I don’t see Andrei Arlovski going anywhere. I believe that the former UFC heavyweight champion has a few more fights before he hangs up the gloves for good.
The question now is what will the promotion do in terms of booking his next fight? I actually think that another fighter on the UFC Vegas 19 card would make for a good opponent. That opponent would be the 43 year old, Alexey Oleynik (59-15-1).
Oleynik just suffered his second consecutive knockout loss this past Saturday. The loss dropped Oleynik from the official rankings and now he’s in an interesting spot. In actuality, a very similar spot as Arlovski.
Neither one of these men are going to be contender for the UFC title. Neither one are in the rankings, but both have good name recognition. I believe it would be a great matchup to pair these two against each other at this stage in their careers.