A pair of former UFC heavyweight champions competed in what turned out to be the most talked about fight of the weekend, as Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia battled in the Philippines.
The fight, which was part of ONE FC 5: Pride of a Nation on Friday morning, ended in a no-contest after Arlovski unloaded a pair of kicks to the head of Sylvia. While soccer kicks are legal – and in fact, Arlovski claims one of the kicks went to the shoulder – the referee had not declared an open attack was available.
Sylvia owns two victories over Arlovski, but it appears that a fifth meeting could be in the future for both fighters. Arlovski revealed his thoughts on the bout via his own personal blog Saturday:
I would like to take a moment to reflect on my ONEFC bout against Tim Sylvia in the Philippines where I received my first no contest decision. First of all I want to mention that I feel Tim Sylvia is no slouch and the various punches he delivered in the first round were very strong but I want to make it very clear that in the second round I felt in total control and regardless of the current decision Tim would have lost this bout. I guess his comments about doing the soccer kick on me just got the best of me in this bout but let me clarify – the first kick I delivered was on his shoulder after I punched him and he went down like a tree and attempted to start moving away from me made me think he was still conscious and aware of his surroundings. The second kick was in fact to his head, but it came after I noticed this questionable overall referee running with his hand up from behind me. The reason I say questionable, is simply – in my bout alone this guy missed various serious calls; where Tim was grabbing and leveraging the fence to control our clinch in the first round. In the second round the vicious and clearly intentional head butt was simply ignored by the referee completely. Therefore I am content with my performance during this bout, specifically testing my so called “glass chin” in the first round, delivering leg kicks that ultimately broke Tim’s arm and the knock down that made him go down. The kicks obviously caused the decision I received, but by the sound of my fans I hope to be back soon and keep you all excited about what’s to come. My team is proud of me and I feel like I am making the right progress in my MMA career. My beef with Tim Sylvia is now behind us both and the outcome of this bout is clear to me, but I’ll let you guys decide.