While the announcement that Andrei Arlovski would be a part of the June 6 Strikeforce show was certainly sudden, it should come as no surprise. If you were paying close “Atencio” during Strikeforce’s April show, then you saw Arlovski jovially in attendance.
In the literary world, the technique is referred to as foreshadowing. Also, it is not the first time an MMA organization has borrowed the services of the well-liked and well-fanged Belarusian.
The organization formerly known as Elite XC borrowed Andrei Arlovski from its “rival” organization Affliction in exchange for profuse amounts of promotion on the CBS-aired show EliteXC: Heat.
So now the apparently bankable and potentially bankruptable Arlovski is on loan again.
This time he will be taking on up-and-comer Brett Rogers, formerly XC property. The undefeated Rogers is coming off an enjoyable TKO win at the aforementioned April show. Rogers belongs to a band of fighters who called out Kimbo Slice but never got their shot.
Also see: Jeff Monson.
According to the Strikeforce press release, Arlovski is being sponsored by Affliction.
Can we expect Affliction to air repeats of Andrei’s loss to Fedor, as a commercial, throughout the entire Showtime broadcast? Show format, marketing, and proper etiquette will all likely dictate otherwise.
Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio has stated as recently as last week that a third show “is being put together right now.” It seems that Affliction is willing to foot the bill for Arlovski and let Strikeforce borrow his services to help promote their third and possibly final show.
It will be interesting to see if Strikeforce returns the favor and lets their current heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem fight Andrei Arlovski on Affliction’s third show. Affliction could certainly use the marquee fight more then Strikeforce at this point.
It seems improbable that Scott Coker would make that deal with the devil, but truth is stranger than fiction. Either way, if Arlovski is able to push past the scrappy Rogers, a stare down with Overeem would have to be the logical next fight for the two.
If you’re into conspiracy theories, could Strikeforce and Affliction be involved in collusion against the UFC and their heavyweight division? Will Strikeforce go into the business of subsidizing Affliction?
Between the two, they could have a heavyweight division that would rival/surpass the UFC’s. If Josh Barnett and Fedor Emelianenko get over the “just friends” and fight it out, then the winner of that fight vs. the winner of Arlovski-Overeem would be a spectacular mini-tournament to say the least.
The only thing left at that point would be for the last man standing to fight whoever the UFC heavyweight champion is at said time.